Archive for the ‘Gear – Sleeping’ Category

Gross – Bed Bugs!  This is thankfully an epidemic that shunned Portland as a potential winter get-a-way, but we keep hearing horror stories on the subject out of NYC.  A reader pointed us to a great green bed bug eliminator – Sleep Tite Bed Bug Spray from Fairy Tales Hair Care (makers of the popular Rosemary Repel lice treatment line).

Fairy Tales Hair Care Sleep Tite Bed Bug Spray

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According to Fairy Tales, 1 spray is 97% effective in killing a live bed bug in seconds!  Spray nightly for 2 weeks and then twice a week to control further outbreaks from newly hatched eggs; until you are confident they are gone.

Available in a 32 oz bottle ($19.95) and 1 gallon refill ($59.95) from Fairy Tales Hair Care.  New Yorkers, share this link with your favorite eco-baby boutiques so you can get it locally!  Sleep tight…

Hape Trendy Nursery Oompa Toys

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It happens to so many families…  The sky’s the limit for the first nursery, which could have been ripped directly from The Land of Nod, or the Lopez-Anthony baby boudoir…  Then baby two comes along and  *screeeeeech!* – the budget hits a wall, and everything is from IKEA, Craigslist, or grandma’s attic.

You can still dream big – just buy small with Hape’s Trendy Nursery dollhouse furniture.  It’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a modern babyspace, just at 1/10th the size and pricetag.

A mere $39.99 at Oompa Toys, the Trendy Nursery is made mostly of bamboo and includes: 1 bunk bed with pillows/blankets, 4 cubby hole cylinder units, 1 rocking crib with pillow/blanket, 1 rocking horse, 1 lamp, 4 rugs, 1 road playmat with 3 cars, and 1 castle toy.  And your child will play with it long after they’ve outgrown the life-sized versions.  If you let them.

Here’s a great one for the “wish they had that years ago” list: Guava Family’s ingenious inflatable GoCrib.

GoCrib is basically the “fast and light” version of a pack n’play – similar to Phil N’Ted’s Traveller, but with strong inflatable technology born from kiteboarding! (You’re getting excited now, aren’t you?  It really is cool.)

Guava Family GoCrib

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Here’s the deal: Kiteboarding kites have a rigid-inflatable leading edge that gives them a lightweight, yet solid frame when setup, but allows them to pack down into a small backpack when not in use. This is the key: Big and rigid when in use, small and compact when not.  GoCrib has no hinges and no mechanisms – it’s safe for tiny fingers, and simple to set up.

GoCrib has all of the features that a portable crib should: Strong and Safe. Light and Ultra-Portable. Fast and Easy. Fun and Inviting.  It’s great for camping, air travel, beach days, grandma’s house, the backyard, the front porch…  Packed away, it weighs just 10 lbs, including the pump, and you get your hands back!  How great is that?

You can get GoCrib directly from Guava Family online, for $249.99 with free shipping.

We are jonesing to carry it in our OpenSky store – perhaps if we launch a successful Comments campaign?  Petition Guava Family below on our behalf!

When new parents first feather the nest, window coverings don’t always flutter to the top of the list.  Once baby starts sleeping in her own crib, though, it seems the room can never be dark enough.  (Even the tiniest power lights will get a piece of electrical tape.)

Invest in superior window coverings and you may need nothing more than a lullaby to send baby off to Dreamland.  Our top pick is no snooze – the OptiLight Blackout Honeycomb Shades from Smith+Noble.

OptiLight is a novel window blind that combines a solid light-blocking and insulating honeycomb shade with a pleated sheer shade deployed top-down for daytime privacy. Smith+Noble also offers basic blackout honeycombs in petite and grand sizes, but for <$100 more in most sizes we like the versatility added by the sheer, especially for first floor bedrooms or other rooms with a view.  Best of all, you can order these blinds with the Cordless Lift System for built-in child safety.

Hard-working honeycombs don’t just block the light, they add insulation – Paul Fisette blogs on Fine that an average home may lose 30% of its heat or air-conditioning energy through its windows.  Honeycomb (aka cellular) shades are particularly effective blocking both light and heat in summer months, especially in south or west-facing windows.  To keep nursery temperatures more constant or boost the efficiency of a window air conditioner, keep shades fully deployed whenever the room is not in use.

For a near-total eclipse, layer on a light-blocking curtain or curtain liner.  The Sailcloth Blackout Panel and Blackout Panel (to line an existing curtain) from Pottery Barn Kids are truly substantial and come in several sizes.

If all else fails, try working from the outside in.  eHow contributor Gemma Argent has a bright idea for planting bamboo to block light outside a nursery window.  Bamboo has a dense and vigorous growing habit and can be notoriously hard to control once established (eHow also provides good tips for keeping it from spreading).  On the plus side, it grows quickly – up to 60cm a day in the right soil, which is certainly faster or at least on par with your little babe.  Also, consider the zen factor – the verdant view from the window, and the calming sway-swish are a meditative boon to sleepy kids and parents alike.

Eco Baby Gear Portland Oregon

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In news of local interest to my Portland readers, eco-minded families have yet another great place to shop in the stretch of SE Division between 20th Avenue and 39th – ahem – César Chavez Way.

Eco Baby Gear has moved 20 blocks closer to the Willamette, joining Bar Avignon, Twill, and Sushi Mazi in the rehabbed retail space at SE 21st and Division.

The new space is just a couple doors down from New Seasons Market and this momma’s favorite: Zenana Spa and Wellness Center, it’s a great location on a major bus line, bordering well-heeled and family-oriented Ladd’s Addition and funkier Clinton neighborhood.  The Division Vision project is busily beautifying this stretch of inner SE, which is still relatively affordable for owners and renters alike.

Truth be told, there was already a great eco baby gear shop in the area: Mother Nature’s at 26th and Clinton.  Mother Nature’s (across from Piccolina Resale, a great stop for eco-as-reuse shoppers) has a similar product set, if more limited in scope, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Chan-Pie-Gnon at Eco Baby Gear

Available at Chan-Pie-Gnon

At the moment, Eco Baby Gear is doing a lot of things right – perhaps most importantly, maintaining a well-stocked online store and boasting the top Google result for “Eco Baby Gear.”

If I could wish for one thing in this burgeoning cluster of eco-shops on/near SE Division, it’s a more expansive vision.  Babies are a lovely target for green living, but they grow up quickly.  What about the rest of the family?  We, too, want to grow up BPA-free…

If you like eBay or Craigslist for baby gear, add Returns For Sale ( to your bookmarks.  As the name implies, the site sells discount open- and closed-box merchandise returned by buyers, or discontinued by the manufacturer.  It looks like a great resource for budget shopping, especially for grandparents, or for extra items you might need for a brief time with a second child.

As always, smart shopping requires due diligence.  Before completing a gear purchase, however attractive the price, you should:

  • Double check the advertised retail price on – – occasionally, you will be able to find a new item at a similar price to that of a discount site, especially in the case of discontinued or deprecated models
  • Visit the home web site for the product’s manufacturer (or your favorite baby gear site), to learn what upgrades have been made for a next-generation model, in case you’d be willing to pay full price for these features
  • Ensure the product was not part of a safety recall. has a good article on how to find baby product recall information, or you can go to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission web site directly.
Roh Crib from Spot on Square - Acrylic panel

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Wouldn’t it be nice to have a nursery with a view?  Innovative design team Spot on Square suggests an answer with a beautiful modern crib that looks more like a bed than a baby cage.

Thanks to smart use of clear acrylic for the front panel, the Roh Crib gives you and your babe an unprecedented view for playing, bonding, or just making sure baby’s still breathing.

It also looks as though the slats might be spaced just far enough apart to rub noses, but not so much that tiny exploring arms and legs would get stuck as in other cribs.

We’re curious to see this one in person, but until we can find it locally, Oompa Toys is offering Roh Crib and all other Spot on Square products for double points this month + free shipping.  Of course, there’s a premium placed on this clarity of vision – Roh Crib retails for $1589.99.

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  • JHeff: I have read a good number of comments about most users of the boba not really ever using the foot rests. Looking at the videos I've seen, the back on
  • Mama GaGa: Oh, boo! Thanks for the manufacturing update - I will make note in the post. Cheers - MG
  • Cathy: I know this is a couple years old but I ran across this post and was so excited when you said the Boba was made in America - a big selling point for m

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