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Showing posts with label Baby Gear.
Showing posts with label Baby Gear.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Preview: The 2012 Martha Stewart Baby Shower Show and Rockland Mother's Top Baby Picks

I had the immense privilege of attending the taping of Martha Stewart's "Baby Shower Show" yesterday (my friend applied for tickets online) and boy did we have a nice time! Everyone in the studio audience left with a ton of great products, including those chosen as top baby picks by The Baby Guy who writes  online.

I don't know much about The Baby Guy, but he does know a lot about baby products from his research. BUT, I don't necessarily think he picked the newest and most useful products for the Martha Stewart Show. Perhaps it is because a) The Baby Guy does not have children himself and b) he is a baby GUY and therefore isn't as intimate with the ins and outs of childbirth and breastfeeding as a woman is, but I felt that some of the products that he picked, while wonderful, were either things we all already know about or things that were simply "adorable."

That said, I'm not going to reveal his picks--you can check out the show on Friday, February 17th on the Hallmark Channel--but I do want to quickly mention a few of the items I would have featured had I been the show's baby expert!

:  I've mentioned this product for nursing/pumping moms before. This smart little invention catches any milk leaking from the breast you are not feeding or nursing on so that you can save it and store it for a future feeding. I haven't tried it yet, but I think the Milk Saver is a new and novel product that will help many a mom.

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Mamaroo
2) : This innovative infant seat takes up less space than traditional infant swings and mimics a variety of motions from car ride to a mother's rocking arms.  Among other features, it plugs into the wall so that you don't have to eat through D batteries and it also hooks up to your iPod.

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City Select
3) Expandable Strollers: Yes, the robotic, self-folding stroller is awesome and I'm tempted to list it since it was not mentioned on the show either, but I think many more moms will benefit by knowing about the large array of "expandable" strollers that are out there. By "expandable," I'm referring to strollers that have the capability of growing from a single stroller to a double or triple.

Baby Jogger's , , and the are just a few of the expandable strollers out there. If I had known what I know now, I would have registered for an expandable while pregnant with my first--they may be more expensive than a single, but you'll save in the long run when you don't have to buy a double when/if you have a second.

 Yup, I'm going there. This product claims to take advantage of the extra relaxin left in a woman's body after birth and help shrink her hips back to normal (or even small than) pre-pregnancy size! You can bet my large pregnant ass (and hips) I'll be trying this product this spring.

 These stylish bead necklaces are made with safe-for-baby materials and are incredibly strong so that a mother doesn't need to worry about ruining her more expensive jewelry. Mom can wear them while breastfeeding to hold the attention of a fussy baby--and they are even great at distracting my two year old in a pinch! They are the perfect baby shower gift and a great way for a mother to feel pretty in those days just after giving birth--just note that these beads are not meant to be teethed on and that you never eave a child alone with them (not a toy!)
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BFF

6) Convertable Diaper Bags: A stylish diaper bag that can hang on your stroller handle is a wonderful thing, but one that is stylish, attaches to a stroller, and can convert from a shoulder bag into a backpack is simply amazing. Anybody who has carried a large toddler on their hip while toting a huge shoulder bag or has run around a playground with a heavy messenger bag across their body can attest to this! (The Baby Guy has probably never done any of these things!)

and or  and are stellar examples of a convertible diaper bag. Expensive, yes. But the smart features in all of these bags definitely make up for it.

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7) :  and the are small baby movement monitors that clip directly to a baby's diaper, rather than being placed under the crib mattress. This eliminates those false alarms that may occur when a baby rolls away from a movement sensor pad place under him in the crib and allows the monitor to be used on the go (in the car, etc.) The Snuza Halo even features a vibrating "rouse" feature to stimulate a baby who has not moved for a certain amount of time and will alert you to rouse incidents.

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And I've got loads more we don't have time for today folks! So, maybe Martha will give me a call the next time she needs to put together a smattering of new and awesome baby picks for the year? Check out the show on Friday and let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Stroller Lust - The Power-folding, Self-Charging, Beyond-my-price-range Origami Stroller

If I won the lotto, I would pay off my parents' mortgage, set up a ridiculous trust fund for Andrew... and buy the Origami power-folding stroller from . Not only does this baby power fold, but it has an on-board LCD screen that tracks the temperature, your walking speed, and how far you've walked. It has daytime running lights and pathway lights, four-wheel independent suspension and a sensor so that the stroller won't fold while your kid is in it. Oh yeah, there is also a generator in the stroller's wheel so that you never have to charge the glorious thing or use batteries! And that's just scratching the surface of what the Origami offers (full specs ).

I want one!! But at $850 retail price ($499 now for a limited advance quantity through 4moms before the official product launch this fall), it really is beyond our means (especially since it is only a single stroller and we hope to have use for a double stroller in the future.) But a mom can dream of lotto millions and a future double Origami--and, in the meanwhile, be mesmerized by the power fold video over and over again.

Ooooooh. Aaaaaaah.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Product Review: Fisher Price Learning 36棋牌

You know when you come up with an idea for an awesome invention and then you find out somebody has done it already? That's what happened to me in the case of the 36棋牌--and I would have been rich, I tell you, because this baby retails at around a whopping $115!

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My son loves this toy and, luckily, we inherited ours from a cousin, because I don't think we could have justified paying so much for it even in all its awesomeness. Its a toy door (that was my "great" idea!), with a light switch, ringing doorbell, mailbox, clock, window, and numerous other open and closing and spinning and sound-making/singing/teaching devices. Really, what baby could stay away?

I do have a few bones to pick with the toy, though, and they are safety related (so you toy makers at Fisher Price better listen up!) After some time, the stickers start to peel off, which could definitely be a choking hazard (I don't know why children's toy makers don't just print images directly onto the plastic). The window closes really forcefully and can slam little fingers. And, finally, my son has learned to push the whole darn thing over, which scares the hell out of me, but which there really is no remedy for (he is, apparently, the incredible hulk baby).  

That said, I really feel so lucky to have inherited the Fisher Price Learning 36棋牌 and would consider it a must-purchase item for crawling to walking babies if it wasn't for the ridiculous price. Fisher Price has a 36棋牌with fewer bells and whistles 36棋牌for around $50 as an alternative, but if you could spare the dough or score the Learning 36棋牌 as a gift (registry!), I'd say "go for it, mama!"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Product Review: Nuby Hot Safe Spoons

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I use 36棋牌 to feed Andrew his cereal (around $4-$5 in most baby/drug stores) and I'd rate them as just "OK". As an ordinary baby spoon, they get the job done--they're soft tipped to be gentle on baby's gums and have a long, ergonomic handle to reach deep into food jars. But, the fandangled hot safe feature just doesn't work that well. 

The white tip of the spoon is supposed to change color after being in too-hot food for 15 seconds, but the color change is so faint--a pale pink--that I'm never quite sure if the color is there or not. I've tested the spoon in hot baby food (no color change) and even put it into boiling water, which elicited a faint color change for about a second. Not quite the dramatic hot safe feature I was expecting!

So, the spoons are just fine for feeding, but don't rely on the color-changing feature to determine whether food is too hot for your little one (go ahead and taste that delicious pureed meat yourself!)  Its just another lesson that, regardless of a product's advertised safety features, you need to be the last line of defense for your child. 

Pureed meat, here I come!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Product Review: HiSense BabySense Baby Safe Infant Movement Monitor

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I knew from the get-go that I would be one of those mamas who wanted a motion sensor for the crib. So, I registered for a HiSense BabySense V CU-100/2 Baby Safe Infant Movement Monitor at Babies R Us ($129.99). I didn't think anybody would pick it up since so many folks said it was unecessary, but there it was at my baby shower thanks to my beautiful sister-in-law!

We really liked the monitor when we were using it in our bassinet. It was really simple to hook up one of the motion sensor boards to the monitor and pop it under the bassinet mattress and it worked perfectly. I even scared the hell out of my husband a couple of times when I forgot to turn off the monitor during middle of the night feedings. It was great, though, to have that extra assurance that the monitor was working.

When we moved the baby to the crib, however, we had to stop using the HiSense. We did everything the instructions said to do--we attached the second sensor board and placed a wooden board over the crib springs to provide a solid platform for them--but the pads never registered movement unless Andrew was full-on kicking! We had constant false alarms and it was really unnerving.

We tried the troubleshooting tips in the product manual and nothing helped us out. Acually, one of the tips was "buy a different mattress," so we didn't try that one out (I mean, seriously?!) So we had to go ahead and retire our beloved HiSense monitor. Maybe it was a good thing that we let go of that crutch. But, I'm still a bit upset that our $129 monitor didn't live up to its full potential! 

I'm going to have to give the HiSense a 2.5 out of 5 stars, then. If you happen to have the sensor and it works for you in your crib, though, please send your magical tips my way! I wouldn't mind getting my sensor to work again and upping its review to a 5 out of 5. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Thing with Hand-Me-Downs

I love hand me downs. Whether it be for the baby or for myself, I'm always game to receive (and pass on) previously-loved items. Why shouldn't we be helping each other out this way, especially in this bad economy?

As we all know, though, the thing with children's hand-me-downs is that we must make sure that they are absolutely safe before using them. So, we check the web for product recalls and look over clothing and toys for loose strings, buttons, etc. But sometimes we can miss something that is not so obvious because it hasn't be recalled and/or the previous owner hasn't had any problems.

Case in point: I inherited a 5-year-old barely-used Fisher Price Ocean Wonders bouncer.  The product hasn't been recalled and all the parts are in perfect working order. Yet, even though the product is like new, I've found that there is a design flaw that can hurt your little one.

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In the pic above, you'll see that the green seahorse has a yellow pinwheel toy that is in just the perfect position to catch your baby's toes. Poor Andrew got his toe jammed this morning, but thankfully I was nearby to unjam him and soothe his tears (poor boy!)

I really feel bad that I didn't catch this problem earlier, but I've learned a valuable lesson. In addition to checking for recalls and damaged parts on items old AND new, you must also use a keen eye to determine if its very design features will be safe for your child. Sometimes design flaws get through even the most rigorous of product testing and mama must serve as the final product tester. You can bet I'll be going over future baby items with a (figurative) magnifying glass!

For what its worth, it seems that Fisher Price might have realized the design flaw of its seahorse bouncer element too. The new Ocean Wonders Aquarium bouncers feature a much safer ball in its place:

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Health and happiness to you and your little ones!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Product Review: Skip Hop Funky Farmyard Activity Mat

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I've been getting a lot of compliments on Andrew's farm animal activity mat since I posted of him playing on it... so I figured I'd write a review!

36棋牌 is one of my favorite items off of my Babies R Us shower registry. Andrew's nursery is farm-themed, and my husband and I fancy ourselves future farmers (ha!), so it was a perfect fit!

The mat is ridiculously simple to set up and deconstruct for machine washing and folds in half (even with the soft toy bars connected) for storage. It comes with five hanging toys (a cow mirror; a musical lamb; and bunny, pig and rooster rattles) and the mat itself has play features such as a squeaky cow, a furry lamb, a detachable carrot, and a crinkly winged chicken. There are also extra toy hooks so that you can hang your own (see blue lion above with Andrew).

The only downside to the mat is that it is $59.99 at both BRU and Amazon! Sure, that's a pretty standard price for activity mats these days, but I can't help thinking that they should go for much cheaper...

In any case, Andrew loves his farmyard mat now that he is grabbing and rolling, so I would have picked it up for him even if it wasn't so generously gifted to me. There are some infant toys that are superfluous, but, in my opinion, a playmat is not one of them. We'll be playing with this mat for a good long time!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Product Review: Baby Monitors - MobiCam AV Wireless Monitoring System vs Summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor

Hey Mamas! Sorry to have been gone for so long. I'm still hanging in there at 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant today and have been spending TONS of time around the house cleaning (with , of course!) and preparing for baby's arrival!

In my frenzied preparation of our nursery, I've finally had the chance to try out a bunch of the baby products that I received at my shower. Today's post is about a product I was super excited to receive, but actually ended up having to return: the MobiCam AV Wireless Baby Monitoring System (; ).



I registered for this baby monitor for a number of reasons: its has color video and audio, night vision, and is portable/handheld. It also got pretty great reviews on BRU.com (where I registered) for picture clarity and a low rate of interference.

To an extent, the reviews were right--the video quality is good, if a little grainy--but the product has some flaws that made it the wrong monitor for us:

First, the design of the video camera is such that there was no where for us to put the monitor so that it looked down into the baby's crib. Even if we mounted the camera on the wall, we couldn't swivel the camera low enough to see into the crib. Not to mention that the monitor didn't come with wall mounting hardware.

Second, the video monitor is really small--just a 2 inch screen. Its awesome that the monitor is in color when not in night vision mode, but color means nothing when I can barely see the screen in the first place!

Finally, for the unit to be portable, you need to fill her up with batteries... and I mean FILL HER UP! Both units require 6 AA batteries if you dont want to use the included power cords. And the batteries do not recharge when the units are plugged in; you need a separate battery charger. To add insult to injury, the MobiCam directions say to remove the batteries when the monitor is not going to be in use for an extended period of time, which requires tracking down a screwdriver--annoying.

Sooooo... I returned the MobiCam and bought the Summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor today. (; ).



While the video monitor on this unit isn't handheld or color--thus the cheaper price--I'm much happier with this product primarily because I can place the more sleek and flexible camera on a shelf or on the wall (it comes with mounting hardware) and see into the crib perfectly on the 5 inch black and white screen!

I also haven't noticed any interference on the baby monitor's 3 channels so far. Actually, what I thought was interference at first just required me to adjust the "V-Hold" knob on the back of the video monitor. After I fiddled with that knob, the picture was perfect.

The sound on the unit, however, is a bit harsh and since I live in a small apartment, I can see myself never putting the sound up on the monitor (the digital whir would probably drive me crazy.) The video monitor also extends back about 7 inches (think an old school television vs a flat screen), so you'll need to clear a bit of space on your nightstand.

If you're like me and live in a small place and want to save a bit of dough on a video monitor, I'd go ahead and give the Summer Infant Day and Night Monitor a try. Of course, if you have the money to spare and need a slimmer monitor, check out Summer Infant's super-sexy color handheld monitor . I drooled over this baby monitor, but at $199, we just couldn't justify the expense for our tiny apartment! Ah, c'est la vie!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

NYC Sample Sale: Bonpoint Couture Children's Clothing

For those of you looking for some discounted designer duds for your wee ones (from newborn to preteen), French children's couture house, Bonpoint, will be having a sample sale next Wednesday and Thursday starting at 8am.

Bonpoint has some pretty beautiful stuff--Suri Cruise and the Obamas are fans--and it looks like the discounts will be substantial. The skinny:

Bonpoint Fall/Winter Sample Sale
October 28-29
W 8-7 Th 8-3
The Metropolitan Pavilion
123 West 18 Street
(6-7 Avenues) 5 Floor
New York, NY


They will be accepting AMEX, Visa, and MasterCards. Go forth and shop!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cute Purchase Alert & Website Review: O.R.E. Originals Splat Mat

I just made my first purchase from ! I just couldn't pass up this O.R.E. originals splat mat in their Yeehaw cowboy theme (click the image for the O.R.E. website):



Originally $30, MamaBargains has them on-sale for $13 for a limited time only. The mat is machine washable and perfect for mealtime or messy play. Now I just have to resist buying all of the other adorable cowboy items on the O.R.E. site, such as:



Hooray for (affordable) cute boy stuff! You should check out the rest of the O.R.E. site too. Their Sugarbooger kids line is adorable and surprisingly affordable, with super trendy diaper bags, nursery organizers, and gift sets.



Happy shopping, mamas!