Posts Tagged ‘Eco-Friendly

Guavamitts Tiny Zoo

NEW! guavamitts make Mom *and* Baby look good! Photo Credit:

Infant fingernails: a seemingly impossible combination of soft and sharp.  You can “trim” them in an instant with a gentle maternal nibble, yet they can slice a tender cheek in the blink of an eye.

Socks on the hands always elicit the sad trombone, no matter how sweet the cherub.  Thanks to the brilliance and diligence of Lili and Linsey – the two Portland Oregon-area moms behind brand-new label guavakids – makeshift mitts are no longer a parent’s only preventative option.  Beautifully tailored, graphically vivid and exuberantly intentional “guavamitts” are a major infant glove upgrade with more than just protective value – they’re playful, stimulating, eco-friendly and smartly designed so you’ll actually *use* them.

Lili and Linsey took special care in sourcing materials and designing-in special details.  guavamitts boast a tailored look, snug closures, and mod patterns.  Fabric is a knitted bamboo/organic cotton blend that’s breathable, naturally antimicrobial, and sustainably harvested.  Each mitt reverses, sporting two visually stimulating patterns, and (like socks) they are wearable on either hand.

Guavamitts Neutral Pack

Neutral Pack: Cirque and Cobblestone | Photo Credit:

This is a product that holds up and even improves under closer scrutiny – we were duly impressed by the quality construction on this tiny scale, which clearly warrants the suggested retail price of $12/pair (or $20 for a two-pack).  A little extra care during laundry will keep guavamitts looking their best.  Fish them out after washing and air dry to help avoid shrinking or puckering.  A mesh baby laundry bag like this one from Munchkin is always a great option for keeping track of tiny items.

Eminently giftable, guavamitts (in 9 different patterns…18 counting the reverses) are a promising debut!  Launched in select stores just this month, interested readers can shop directly at starting September 21.

Comotomo Single Green 150mL Amazon

Photo Credit:

Comotomo offers an update on so-called “natural nursers” – baby bottles made out of silicone or a similar material, and designed to more closely approximate a mother’s breast.  These bottles tend to resonate with folks who primarily breastfeed, and especially those who experience trouble getting baby to take a bottle.

Sporting a more compact, squishable shape, Comotomo Natural Feel bottles improve upon an earlier competitor – the Adiri Natural Nurser – in their smaller size and more flexible material, which make for a more intimate in-hand experience.  A big benefit of the flexible silicone is the ability to manipulate the milk somewhat as you feed by squeezing the bottle, keeping air pressure more constant and presumably decreasing the air your child might take in through the nipple, especially as the bottle runs dry.  It also looks to fit more nicely in the hand – Adiri bottles are quite wide, and can be less ergonomic for smaller hands.

Reviewers on Amazon have mentioned that it can be challenging to balance Comotomo bottles neatly on their bases – we can definitely see that in their exaggerated egg shape.  But the shape also allows bottles to nest (when disassembled) in storage, which is a big bonus over nearly every other bottle on the market.

Comotomo Natural Feel Bottle Squeeze

Photo Credit:

You can buy Comotomo bottles on Amazon in two sizes as well as multi-packs.  A single bottle will run you a pretty steep $15.99 for 150mL or $16.99 for 250mL.  As with other bottles, there are additional nipples (or “bottle teats” as they call them) available for $6.99 per two-pack, with variable flow based on the usual age ranges (0-3 months, 3-6 months, etc.) translating to slow, medium, and fast nursing styles.

Bottom line: Comotomo Natural Feel bottles are a bit expensive, but are also thoughtfully designed and even award-winning.  They deliver both style and function, and are a great BPA-free option worth considering.


8/18 GREAT BUY ALERT: Comotomo Natural Feel bottles are featured for sale on design discount site at a decent discount – $12-$13 for the bottles, and $5 for nipple packs.

Smith+Noble Tranquility Shades

Photo Credit:

Smith+Noble recently announced its newest light-blocking line of shades, aptly named “Tranquility.”  Behold the power of innovation: these shades got me blogging again!  If I had or was expecting a newborn, I’d easily forego four months of lattés to jump on these immediately!

Smith + Noble Tranquility shades solve pesky nursery “light leak” right within the window frame, with a sleek set of side tracks that hold blinds flush, eliminating the frustrating problem of light escaping out the sides, despite layer upon layer of light-blocking this-and-that.  Tranquility is currently offered in roller and cellular styles, with the latter offering additional insulation benefits – an eco-friendly choice in a particularly sunny window.  Custom sizing gets you a perfect fit, and the side tracks are held in place with stick-on magnetic strips, making them relatively easy to install, adjust, or remove for cleaning.

Folks needing an outside mount light-blocker are out of luck for the moment – for you, we continue to recommend the heavy-duty light-blocking curtain liners offered by folks like Pottery Barn.

Looking to outfit a nursery or child’s room?  A Cordless lift system is available (+$60/ea shade) and recommended.

Custom sizing means a custom price, but you should expect about $300 for a 3/4″ Blackout Cellular Tranquility Shade with standard options.  Smith+Noble runs frequent discounts (like 30% off on an order of 3 or more) so if you play your cards right, or maybe tackle two rooms at once, you can usually get a good deal.  At any rate, new parents know, and those expecting will soon discover: a good night’s sleep is priceless…

You can purchase Tranquility shades exclusively online at

At GaGaGear, we maintain that one of the most ecological choices a parent can make, from decorating the nursery right down to dressing the child, is buying quality.  Quality products will hold up through countless cycles of intended use, can be proudly passed down to family and friends, and are a best bet in resale situations.

Among the hardest quality items to keep in best repair are children’s clothes, notably fabrics.  Buttons can be mended, zippers replaced…but a serving of oily pasta hiding in the lap of your daughter’s favorite Tea Collection pants can instantly ruin them for resale.  The worst part is, these everyday food stains don’t ever seem to register until very late in the game – usually after being laundered at least once, where they’ve had time not only to set but to be perma-pressed right into the fibers.

After years of frustrated repeat laundering and stain-treating, we set off in search of a powerful yet eco-friendly stain fighting regimen to keep our toddlers’ togs tip-top.  We turned to EcoMom CEO and Co-Founder Jody Sherman for a recommendation, and were delighted to receive a testing sample of Pocket Charlie’s stain spray – from Sutherland Products, makers of green laundry hero product Charlie’s Soap.

Pocket Charlie's

Photo Credit:

At first, we were skeptical – the 4 oz. spray smelled a bit like car windshield washing fluid, and was simply marked “Safe for the environment / Safe for anything washable.”  Our anything hadn’t been washable – and we’d even tried to Shout it out – but we crossed our fingers and gave Pocket Charlie’s a try.

We absolutely amazed at the results.  Pasta, milk, and fruit stains…grass stains…mystery stains…even very old stains that had borne repeated washings – Pocket Charlie’s disappeared them all.

What is this magical stuff?  From the EcoMom site: Charlie’s Soap All-Purpose Cleaner is friendly to all earth, air, and marine life because it contains only the purest, most biodegradable, natural ingredients. It contains NO lye, NO phosphates, NO bleach, NO brighteners, NO dyes, NO softeners, NO petroleum, NO fillers, and NO perfume. From the Sutherland Products site: [Charlie’s is] a multi-surface cleaning agent, developed for hands-on cleaning of industrial machinery.

Hmm.  Well, toddler grime and machine grime – maybe not so different after all.  The point is, it’s a fabulous multi-purpose stain fighter, and a new must for eco-friendly laundering.  Five stars!  And only $5.99 with free shipping from

First time ordering at EcoMom?  Enter GaGaGear’s exclusive code SBBL254 for a one-time discount of 15% – through Aug 31, 2010.

Lastly – if you are interested in further greening your home, EcoMom also has a great program called EcoPass – for a $99 annual membership, EcoPass holders receive a 15% discount on every order, as well as free shipping with no $75 minimum requirement.  For the month of July, you can buy EcoPass one time – for life! See the web site for details.


Disclaimer:  GaGaGear received one 4 oz. free sample of Pocket Charlie’s from EcoMom, following our non-solicited inquiry into recommended eco-friendly stain-fighting products.  We are not affiliated with EcoMom, and were not compensated in any way for reviewing this product.  Our opinions are entirely our own.

Boba Baby Carrier Tweet

Photo Credit:

We blogged earlier comparing the Boba Carrier to the Ergo.  Boba’s G2 carrier features all-organic fabrics, higher baby back support than Ergo, handy foot stirrups, and a more streamlined and attractive design, all at a similar price point (<$125) – what’s not to like?

Well, Boba just flew even farther ahead in our estimation with their gorgeous new Tweet pattern just released for the G2.  How adorable is this?  Of course, it’s currently backordered on the Boba site, but you may be able to find it locally (i.e. at Bella Stella Baby in Portland, OR).


Photo credit:

RUMOR ALERT – Ergo may in fact have been paying attention through Boba’s various innovations on their original theme, and looking for a little payback.  Their site currently features a tantalizing red curtain graphic hinting at what – the Ergo “performance edition?”  It doesn’t link to any content (tsk tsk), so we can only speculate.  But we will check back July 15, to let you know!

Would you buy a refurbished stroller?  How about a car seat?  Exersaucer?  Play gym?

Most of us wouldn’t bat an eyelid at a hand-me down sweater, or a set of toy blocks.  But product safety is always a top concern when evaluating used, refurbished or recycled baby gear.  While many items in visibly good repair prove popular in resale or as hand-me-downs, the market for second-hand gear is unapologetically caveat emptor, heavy on the caveats.

This is nothing new.

What’s new is that gear companies are finally thinking outside the dumpster when it comes to excess inventories, returns, and open-box items.  Like a “Certified Used” car, “Recycled” baby gear may be here to stay, offered not just by third parties like but by the originating companies themselves.  And why not?  Who better to certify a Revolution than BOB?

GoGo Kidz Recycled Travelmate

Photo Credit:

Of course, BOB’s still not in on this game.  Nor are any of the volume guys like Graco, Chicco, Cosco, at least on the surface.  Major players have their channel partners dialed in, so inventory just keeps flowing downstream.  The dumpster is in somebody else’s parking lot (though still visible on Google Earth).

As often happens in business, it’s the little guy who tests innovation – in this case, Go-Go Babyz, makers of the brilliant gogo Kidz Travelmate *and now* Recycled Travelmate.

Travelmate is certainly a good candidate for this kind of recycling.  Although it attaches to a car seat, it is not the car seat, i.e. not a litigious hot potato.  It’s a pretty simple gadget.  Scenarios for “bad things happening” at the fault of Travelmate are fairly limited and probably quite remote in their possibility.

With a six-month limited warranty and a discount of $20 over the virgin product ($69.99 instead of $89.99), it’s hard to see how Recycled Travelmate really pencils out for the company once you add up original manufacturing costs, customer service, return processing, refurb parts & labor, testing, and reissue.  But they’re barking up an important tree – and again, it’s a simple gadget, so the typical “fix” is probably pretty simple, too.

At any rate, it’s encouraging to see a company smartly weighing the risks and offering refurbished “like new” product direct to consumers.  What’s the African proverb?  If we’d all just sweep in front of our own doorsteps, the whole world would be clean?  Now *that’s* talkin’ about a Revolution.

Earlier this year, the Today show ran a segment on bath toys in their series “Secret Filth Exposed.” Bath squirters – a perennial favorite – were shown to have high levels of bacteria, caked absolutely black on the insides with “sky high counts of fecal bacteria like e-Coli and strep.”

We cut one open in disbelief – yep.  Disgusting.  Really wish we hadn’t seen that.  Instant toss.  But what now?  Measuring cups and containers are good fun, but they just don’t have the personality of those little squirts.

Dano2 Ducki

Photo Credit:

There are a few rubber duckies on the market that are one-piece, without squirt holes.  But a quick search yielded a terrific find – a rubber ducky who’s not only hygienic, but also PVC-, Phthalate- and BPA-free!  Ducki from Dano2 solves the hygiene problem with a pop-out bottom – it can be thoroughly cleaned and dried, inside and out.

Ducki retails for just $8, and is available in four bathtastic colors: citrus, raspberry, caribbean and mint.  His sassy upturned beak and tail make for great teething, too.

    • 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

    GaGaGear on Twitter



    Original site content ©GaGaGear, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to GaGaGear with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

    Back To School Cool:

    Back to School Shopping