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Infant/ toddler shoes

Posted by Alina on Thursday May 28, 2009 Under Baby Products

picture-3I have recently discovered infant/toddler shoes  called preschoolians. There is quite a wide selection of boys’ and girls’ styles on their website, and they even have an option to design your own. The shoes have soft, flexible soles and are light weight. The coolest part about these is the VisuFit clear window at the toes on the sole of the shoe. When the shoe insert is removed, you can literally see where your child’s toes reach in the shoe and decide if it’s time to get the next size. The shoes also come with inserts of variying widths so you can choose the one that best fits your child’s foot. To make sure you order the correct sized shoe, you can contact the company and they will picture-2send you a measuring device and instructions aboslutely free. I ordered a pair for my son (early walker) and I absolutely love them. At first I thought they were too big, but after reading the instructions on the website, the toes are supposed to only come to a certain line on the VisuFit window, and he does not trip when walking in them, so they are appropriately sized.

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First Walker

Posted by Alina on Friday Apr 24, 2009 Under Baby Products

radio-flyer The Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon is an excellent product. We bought it for our son’s first birthday and he LOVES it. He plays with it every day. He is not yet walking on his own, but he enjoys walking around with this wagon. His favorite thing to do is to climb in and out of it and there is no greater happiness than sitting in the wagon and being pushed from one side of the room to the other. Unlike many push toys out there, this one does not tip when my son leans on it. The wheels have a “push-back” mechanism, which prevents them from moving too fast, even on bare wood floors (we don’t have carpeting). The wheels are rubberized and roll quetly, except for the clicking of the “push-back” pegs (which can be removed). There is plastic rounded bumper on the front, so if the child walks into furniture or walls, it leaves no scratches. The wagon provides an opportunity to practice climbing in and out (which involves some problem solving on my son’s part). It can also be filled with his favorite toys (in our case I fill and he empties). This is a fantastic first walker/toy, definitely worth the price.

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Researching baby related products

Posted by Alina on Thursday Mar 19, 2009 Under Baby Products, useful tips

baby-bargainsWhen you’re pregnant, you suddenly discover a whole new world of shopping that consists of baby related products. This may be a very new area to you and it can be overwhelming. If you’re anything like me, you will probably want to research categories and types of products before your baby arrives, so that you can decide what you need, what you want, and what is just unnecessary. Of course, every situation is different and that is why there are tons and tons of products on the market.

consumerreportsA couple of books that I found helpful in my research, were: Baby Bargains by Denise Fields and the Consumer Reports Best Baby Products. New editions of these books are printed every year or two, to ensure that you get the latest information. These really helped me to make decisions for some of the larger purchases. Reading through these books educated me on what is out there and helped me focus to what features to look for in particular products. Another very helpful tool was reading through people’s product reviews on Amazon.com. Although I think dissatisfied customers are more likely to want to complain and write bad reviews, there are many helpful reviewers out there. All that said, it’s a good idea to actually go to a store and see some of these products, play with them and decide if they are right for you.

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Update on Skip Hop

Posted by Alina on Wednesday Mar 11, 2009 Under Baby Products

This is a brief update to my recent post about the Skip Hop changing pad.

The company replaced my damaged changing pad with a brand new one in about a week and paid for all shipping! Thanks Skip Hop! I’ll continue to buy and use their products knowing that the company has a commitment to quality and customer service.

Unlike some manufacturers who are difficult to reach, I was easily able to find all the contact information I needed, directly on the company’s website,  www.skiphop.com, (under “customer care”) This will take you to a page listing their phone number, fax, and email address, as well as frequently asked questions. There is also a PDF of the return/exchange form. This was a very positive experience.

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The Red Tent

Posted by Alina on Sunday Mar 1, 2009 Under Baby Products

tentMy 10 month old son seems to enjoy playing in enclosed spaces. When we go to children’s play areas around the city, he often spends a fair amount of time inside toy houses, and tubes that he can climb through. Lately, after nursing him in the morning, my husband and I have been raising the blanket up over his head and he loves climbing through the bed underneath it.

My latest and greatest discovery in the world of baby products is a small red tent from Ikea. My son absolutely loves it. He enjoys playing peekaboo and hiding in there. He likes peeking out and finding us through the little windows, and he gets super excited if my husband or I follow him into the tent, at which point he begins to laugh and yell and spin around in place. It is quite amusing to watch him. The tent very simply snaps together and has mesh windows, which adds an extra element of play. It folds flat for storage and is easy to clean. Overall: a great product at a great price.

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Mini Diaper Changing Bag

Posted by Alina on Wednesday Feb 18, 2009 Under Baby Products

skip-hopWhen going out with my now 10-month old son, I prefer to carry as little with me as possible. One excellent product that I would highly recommend is called the Skip Hop Canvas Pronto. It is a compact changing pad with compartments. It has an outer zippered pocket and inner pockets for wipes and diapers. The changing pad has some soft padding on one side for the baby’s head. This is one of the few baby products that I use multiple times every day.

Recently, the zipper on the inner pocket broke. I wrote an email to the company to see if I can get a replacement, and got a very quick response. They emialed me a shipping label and a form to be filled out and shipped to them with the defective product. It sounds like I should be getting a free replacement in 2-4 weeks. So far, the customer service at Skip Hop has been great. I will write an update once the transaction has been completed.

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Head and body support for babies

Posted by Alina on Friday Jan 23, 2009 Under Baby Products

snuzzlerThere are various types of head and body supports made for young babies. When my son was born, a friend (and mother of two) recommended the Velboa Snuzzler by Kiddopotamus. This is an excellent product! It is a support system made of two pieces, one for the head and one for the body. They can be used together (attached by velcro) or separately, and each piece is two-sided; one side is covered with fleece, the other with a smooth fabric, which seemed to keep my son cooler in the summer. Because there are two separate pieces, they can be adjusted as needed for a baby’s changing height. When my son was a newborn, I used this head and body support with the infant car seat. Once he got a big bigger, I only used the head support for when he fell asleep in the seat. Now (9 months) that he has outgrown his infant car seat but still has too much wiggle room in the big car seat, the Velboa Snuzzler has made a come-back. It helps to keep him snug in his bigger car seat, provides body support so he doesn’t end up leaning over too much to the side or twisting his body, and supports his head and neck when he falls asleep. Really great product, easy to care for (just throw in the washing machine), and comes in a variety of colors.

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Robeez Baby Shoes

Posted by Alina on Tuesday Jan 6, 2009 Under Baby Products

The American Podiatric Medical Association states the following: “When a child begins to walk, shoes generally are not necessary.  Allowing an infant to go barefooted indoors, or to wear only a pair of socks, helps the foot grow normally and develop its muscles and strength, as well as the grasping ability of toes.”

monster-shoesThat being said, if you live in a climate where the weather gets cold and you want your young child to be able to crawl, pull to stand, and explore when you are out and about (even if it’s indoors), you will probably need to put something on their feet. We have wood floors, and if my 8 month old son tries to pull to stand or cruise in his socks, he ends up slipping and falling.  One of the best shoes for babies that I have found is by a company called Robeez. The shoes are leather, with a soft suede sole. This functions as a sock from the point of view of foot support, but prevents slipping on smooth surfaces, allowing the young explorers to climb around safely. Robeez shoes come in a multitude of adorable designs for boys and girls, and most importantly, they stay on. They have an elastic band around the ankle, making them very difficult for my son to pull off, believe me he does try. Robeez baby shoes carry the prestigious Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.

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Drying rack

Posted by Alina on Saturday Jan 3, 2009 Under Baby Products

rackWhether or not you choose to breast feed, at some point your baby will be driking from a bottle. Baby bottles are comprised of multiple little parts and after washing them you will need a place to let them dry. I looked at various drying racks out there and purchased the First Years Modular Drying Rack. It is made of two shelves for placing loose items (like various breastpump parts and bottle nipples) and multiple sticks for holding bottles or sippy cups vertically. The rack also comes with a drip tray to catch excess water and can be placed any where on the counter, not necessarily near the sink. We use only glass bottles (which are heavier) and the rack withstands the wieght just fine. Another big plus of this product is the price, compared to others on the market. I have been very happy with this product and would definitely recommend it.

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Engaging toy for an infant

Posted by Alina on Friday Dec 26, 2008 Under Baby Products

boomboxMy infant son has been a really big fan of a particular toy we received as a gift. The Pop Tunes Boom Box, by Little Tikes, has been the one single toy that has held his interest for many months, and still continues to provide surprising stretches of entertainment. This is a plastic boombox that plays 4 melodies when a certain button is pressed. There is a spinning disk, which my son seems absolutely fascinated with, along with a button that makes several sounds, a spinning plastic ball which contains many tiny balls, and a few other parts that move and make noise. This toy has been able to calm him when he’s crying, keep his interest during the “witching hours” in the evenings, and has been of interest for discovery and exploration for him longer than any of his other toys. He liked hearing the music and watching the lights early on (about 3 months) and now that he is almost 9 months, he enjoys manipulating the different buttons and sounds in addition to the audio and visual stimuli. I would highly recommend this one for the young and the curious.

P.S. A friend of mine said she has this same toy in blue and the music is too loud, she checked out ours (yellow), and said it sounded much nicer.

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