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Posts Tagged ‘Infant

Guavamitts Tiny Zoo

NEW! guavamitts make Mom *and* Baby look good! Photo Credit: http://www.guavakids.com

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: guavakids.com

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 guavakids.com starting September 21.

Plum Logo

Update 6/22/2012:  RIP Plum!  Too soon…  Good article here on why it failed.  I’m keeping this post up, because I still believe in the idea.  Interesting perspective in the article on why ThredUP works, too.

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Original Post Follows:

Here’s an interesting notion for parents wanting to live simply yet still deck their kids out in boutique clothing: rent it.

Plum is a new company that calls itself “Netflix for baby clothes.”  Subscribers pay a monthly fee to receive bundles of two, four, or seven outfits at a time by mail, sending them back when finished for a fresh set.  Bundles are packed in a resealable envelope for easy returns, and the subscription supports one free exchange per month.

Does this pencil out over buying new?  Pretty much – at least for the brands they’re touting (Tea Collection, Petit Bateau, Kate Quinn Organics…)  Let’s say you were dressing an infant for exactly three months, and could live with Plum’s seven outfit bundle on top of all the stuff you were gifted by friends and family.  That’s a $49/month subscription – about $150 for the 3 months.  By contrast, Tea Collection or Kate Quinn layette separates run about $30-35 a piece – which would total about $210-$245 for seven outfits if purchased new.

Plum’s no-hassle stain policy (no worries – they just donate it to charity) helps make the service an overall good value, especially if you’re just having one child of a particular gender (finally – a girl after three boys!), or are not the type to do the legwork of keeping stuff pristine for resale.  Parents of multiples can use it to supplement what they already have in the house, maybe giving that little girl four sweet outfits “of her own” each month (for $29) on top of the more gender-neutral stuff she can reuse from her brothers.  It’s also a fun gift for relatives or friends to consider – either one time, or recurring.

Plum is in a public beta at the moment, with a waitlist for new members.  But if it interests you, definitely sign up and keep your eyes on it.  A similar service is ThredUP, where families nation-wide swap used baby clothing for $15.95 a box.  ThredUP is a great idea for the mass market, but with brands tending to be a lot more mainstream – Carter’s, Old Navy, that sort of thing – the lack of selection can be frustrating to folks who prefer (and would post up in exchange) the kinds of brands that Plum is carrying.

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Editor’s Note: ThredUP has since added a Concierge service which helps get higher-end swappers into the game.

Comotomo Single Green 150mL Amazon

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

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: comotomo.com

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.

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

Smith+Noble Tranquility Shades

Photo Credit: SmithandNoble.com

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 smithandnoble.com.

Here’s an update – dare we say, product review – for Phil N’Teds Wriggle Wrapper: “The perfect solution for sitting, feeding & sleeping on the go!”

A while back, we posted about the beautiful unfulfilled promise of the Wriggle Wrapper, which had sat gathering moss while our little babies rolled gleefully along, stopping only to nosh in the infinitely superior Phil N’Teds MeToo.  After several noble attempts at proper use, we felt wasteful and downright ashamed at having gotten suckered into another $50 of gear we didn’t need.

Then – the baby turned 1, the toddler hit 2.5, and we all took off to co-op preschool together, working parent shift (with tag-a-long) one day a week.

The first few times, I just struggled & juggled with the baby – swapping deftly between the Ergo, a Pack N’Play (not popular), and furtive sideway glances to keep Mr. Increasingly Mobile in my sights.  This wasn’t working, so I deployed the MeToo – but with much more at stake (glue sticks – how delicious!) the little guy grew even more determined, finding a way out of MeToo’s safety straps and onto the table.

As it turns out, toddlers are pretty good at sounding the alarm – not out of concern of precious baby’s health or welfare, but because glue is “mine” and they’re not sharing.  Yet another rescue pop into the Ergo.

Phil & Teds Wriggle WrapperLater, physically exhausted and emotionally bereft, it hit me like a ton of mossy rocks: Wriggle Wrapper.  The perfect solution for sitting…on the go. (Their words.)  It would bind baby’s wiggly little bottom to a tiny preschool chair.  As though the chair were wearing the Ergo.  Sort of.  Well, at this point, anyone or anything else wearing the baby is welcome, and my back thanks you.

I brought Wriggle Wrapper to Co-op my very next shift and it worked like a dream.  The WW’s extra-wide velcro-buckle waistbelt/short is genius for sitting securely, since it immobilizes the hips – baby has no leverage to wiggle his legs into standing position.  Best of all, baby seems to love it.  I think the secure hold might actually feel comforting – like he feels wrapped, not bound.

The other parents were impressed – what’s that?  That’s brilliant! For the first time, I finished shift with energy to spare.  I’m a fan of baby-wearing, and still wore my 23-pounder for a good two hours out of five, but the Wriggle Wrapper gave me *my* mobility at key moments in the Co-op day.  I felt like Supermom.  No…I felt…normal!

So I’m updating the review, and giving WW high marks – at least for sitting and feeding!  Sleeping…remains to be seen.  But I’ve got to find a way to test it.  Because the $49.99 just got paid off (good luck hiring a nanny for that for five hours) – and now I’m curious.

This just in from ERGObaby, makers of the ever-popular Ergo Baby Carrier: a new/improved Infant Insert called “Heart2Heart.”

The original insert (c. 2004) was not unlike a small comforter you’d tuck your infant into taco-style, and then carefully bundle into the carrier at a precarious angle (“the cradle position”).  It always felt like an after-thought, and something of a rip-off at almost $40.  (We even razzed it in our GearGuide.)

Ergo Baby Organic Silver Heart2Heart Infant Insert

Photo Credit: ergobabycarriers.com

The new design is the result of contributions from research studies, customer feedback, chiropractic support and working directly with newborns.  Heart2Heart keeps the comfy padding of the original, but gives parents confidence with a more defined shape and secure snaps.  ERGO handles the baby origami for you this time, removing a big barrier to use (if not purchase) with the original.

Heart2Heart is available online and in stores, in both regular cotton poplin ($25) and 100% organic cotton ($38 – recommended).

GaGaGear’s Word To The Wise:  With the new version in circulation, you may see deep discounts on the old insert.  While still technically effective as a newborn carrying device in combination with the Ergo carrier, we didn’t recommend the previous version, and still don’t.  It was cumbersome and too easy to use incorrectly.

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: http://www.dano2.com

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

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