Storage & such

Kids have a lot of stuff.  Just a diaper changing area alone has a ton of things to keep track of, and you need all of it within reach.  The things I like fix this, as well as just about any other “stuff” problem you’ve got.  (except getting rid of it, or finding that one crayon that is suddenly your toddler’s favorite in the world that he will just die without.  On your own there.)

Koala Baby canvas storage bin

Which is bigger, at 11.5″H x 15.5″W x 13″D.  Below is the Badger Basket bin, smaller, at 10″L x 9″W x 11″H.

We have both sizes, and they’re awesome.  They fold flat when you’re not using them  (a panel in the bottom comes out, which your child will discover, but they seem pretty hardy, so they don’t get crumpled).  And they hold everything!  We use one of the smaller ones as a portable downstairs diaper station.  The rest are mostly filled with toys.  All of ours are in red to go with the room decor (sorta),  but they have other colors (baby blue, pink, green, I believe there’s a tan?).  We also grab one of these for trips and fill it with books & other car-friendly toys.  Perfect.

While doing some scouting to tell you about these bins, I came across a few more that I don’t have any experience with, but look awesome.  Only works out if you have an Ikea in the area though, cause these aren’t sold online.

That set of three boxes, with stats of 1 rectangular (7x14x6″) and 2 square (7x7x6″) boxes, is $6.99, compared to $12/13 for ONE of the others.  They also come in a sorta cute pattern…

that I believe we may have to get to put in the kids’ rooms.  What a steal- v. excited.

Though I may go a little crazy and get this cute toy chest instead…

How cute is that??  Says it folds up too.  It has a matching mirror too…

Really, very hard to resist.  If we make an Ikea jaunt & they have it, I may have no choice.

Now, since I’m at Ikea’s site, I’ll tell you about another storage product that I do know I like.  Glis storage boxes are perfect for the aforementioned loseable crayons, as well as any other little trinkets your wee ones have on hand.  They also come in a set of three (the colors shown, or pink/white/yellow).  L: 7 ” x W: 4 ” x H: 3 ”  for only $2.49!  They’re also translucent, so you can immediately spot if big brother is hiding baby’s binky in there.  Note: they have a hinged lid that snaps closed.  Easy to open, but sometimes a young toddler might need a hand.  Haven’t seen any fingers get pinched though.

Summary:

Good:

  • Koala Baby bin 11.5″H x 15.5″W x 13″D ($12.99 @ Babies R Us – & don’t buy at Amazon.com, they want $30!)
  • Badger Basket bin 10″L x 9″W x 11″H ($11.99 @ Babies R Us & Amazon.com)
  • Ikea Glis small plastic boxes set of 3, L: 7 ” x W: 4 ” x H: 3 “ $2.49

Possibly better (due to price, but not tested & more limited colors and availability):

  • Ikea Fabler bins, set of three 1 rectangular (7x14x6″) and 2 square (7x7x6″) $6.99

Possibly best due to sheer cuteness:

  • Ikea Minnen treasure chest toybox W: 24 3/8 ”  D: 15 3/4 ”  H: 11 3/8 “ $14.99
  • Ikea Minnen mirror $19.99

September 16, 2009. Baby, Clothes, Decor, Diaper & Potty, Gadgets, Toddler, Toys, Travel. Leave a comment.

Jumperoo

Mostly trying to stick with small, helpful items here, but if you’re in need of a play station type place where you can just PUT THE BABY DOWN for a little while?  Go with the Rainforest Jumperoo.

We first bought this when our now 2 year old was a baby.  He loved the thing, would bounce for ages.  The toys on it are great, the seat in the middle swivels so they can change direction, and it’s height adjustable so it grows with them.  Baby boy #2 is now using it, and loves it as well.  He’s getting to exercise his legs, and it also provides a perfect (and safe) vantage point to watch all of big brother’s antics.  He stays interested in this thing far longer than any other toy, which gives me some time with hands free to play with the 2 year old, or just hold a cup of coffee with no spills.

Directions say you can use it as soon as they can hold their head up, till they’re 25 lb or 32 in tall.

They make another Jumperoo version, might work as well.  But the Rainforest Jumperoo gets my vote for most worth it.

Summary:

Good: Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo ($81.12 @ Amazon.com)

September 11, 2009. Baby, Toys. Leave a comment.

Boogie Wipes

Boogie Wipes.  Yep, name of these pretty much covers it.  I can really only add Awesome.

Got a kid with a perpetually snotty nose?  Or worse, a crusty snotty nose?  This is what you need.  Think wet wipe, but with saline.  Come in a little pouch of  30, or individual packs (LOVE).  Note: if you don’t use the Boogie Wipes in the big package quite fast enough (3? 4? months?), they will dry out.  Haven’t had a problem with the individual use packages though, and they’ve saved me from many a gross moment out & about.   Since they’re wet, they make quick work of that nasty nose, which is perfect for a toddler that sprints away at the mere sight of a tissue.  And they’ve got whatever magic that saline does for noses.  Go team.

Big packs apparently come in Original (non smelling), Grape & Menthol smell, but haven’t tried the last 2.  Looks like the individual packs only come in Original & Grape.

Summary:

Good: Boogie Wipes package of 30 (3 for $10.99 at Amazon.com)

Better: Boogie Wipes individuals, box of 10 ($2.99 at Amazon.com)


September 11, 2009. Baby, Health, Toddler, Travel. Leave a comment.

Piddle pad

I sought this product out after finding out that while most car seats say their removeable covers are washable, it is a pain (in the back, neck, arms…) to remove & put back on.  I love our car seats, (I’ll write them up later), but surely there’s a better way.  Until there is though, there’s the Piddle Pad.

This thing is awesome.  Terry-cloth (like a towel) on one side, waterproof liner on the other.  No matter how fastidious you are about diaper changes, sometimes, leaks happen.  Tossing this thing in the washer is so much easier than removing a car seat cover, washing it, letting it air dry, and then wrangling it back on.  Only downside- it does move around a bit, and can get bunched up under the kid while you’re getting them situated in the seat.

However, there’s also a Deluxe Piddle Pad that’s come out since we bought ours, which seems to fix my only caveat about the product.

I haven’t actually tried that version, but based on the original & the apparent upgrades to the Deluxe (fits around front seatbelt, keeping it in place)- if you’re buying for the first time though, I’d spring for the Deluxe.

Summary:

Good: Piddle Pad ($6.99 on Amazon.com)

Better: Deluxe Piddle Pad ($9.99 on Amazon.com)

September 10, 2009. Baby, Diaper & Potty, Health, Toddler. Leave a comment.

Bottle system

One of the first things new parents have to decide on is what “bottle system” they’re going to use.  Unless you’re able to breastfeed, in person, every time, you’re going to need a bottle sooner rather than later.  The best set that we have enjoyed the most, for convenience purposes mostly, is the Playtex Drop Ins system.

The liners minimize clean-up time.  The pre-formed liners are so easy to use, and I don’t even want to imagine the messes I would make with the standard ones. Only downside I see is the eco-guilt

We’ve tride both the clear silicone nipples and the brownish latex ones (both NaturaLatch), and I was a little put-off by the latex.  It seemed to swell up and discolor a little if it was in contact with liquid too long.  Might have been a misuse of some sort on our part, but we’re sticking with the silicone either way.

With our first son, we used Dr. Brown’s

It was recommended to us as the best, if you could afford it.  It is a little pricier than other systems, but that’s not why, ultimately, we decided we hated it.  Now, disclaimer: if you have a colicky baby, it may help and be totally worth it.  If not though– this bottle has FIVE parts.  And comes with a special, pipe-cleaner-like brush.  These bottles are a bitch to clean.  After you finally get the baby to sleep at night, you do not want to spend 45 minutes up to your elbows in hot soapy water, washing 6 bottles. That’s 30 bottle parts there, with numerous nooks & crannies that you aren’t ever sure you’ve really gotten clean.  (Though, again, if this 45 minutes would otherwise be spent with a screaming colicky/gassy baby, it’s worth a shot.)

Something that puzzles me- Dr. Brown’s makes a glass bottle.  Why, on Earth, would you use a heavy, breakable bottle?  I can’t find anything on their website that says it’s shatterproof.  Maybe there’s a medical reason for using glass, but otherwise, it makes no sense to me at all.  Nostalgia?  Or maybe the potential mess of a dropped bottle isn’t enough for you, and you need to add the thrill of possible bloodshed.  I bet you’re the type to not put baby gates on your stairs, aren’t you?

Summary:

Good: Playtex Drop Ins (Newborn Nurser Set at Amazon.com for $15.99)  (with formed liners & silicone NaturaLatch nipples)

Bad (unless you’re desperate): Dr. Brown’s (Newborn feeding set $19.99 at Amazon.com)

September 10, 2009. Baby, Don't Like, Food & Drink. Leave a comment.

SippiGrip

Ever make it back home after a shopping jaunt & realize your kid’s sippy cup didn’t?  Or watch your toddler toss his cup and then have to chase it, wherever it happens to roll (invariably under something that’s  hiding a dust bunny warren)?

Solution!

That, my friends, is the SippiGrip.  Fits around any cup, bottle, whatever your kid’s drinking out of, with an adjustable, no slip loop.  The other end velcros around your stroller, high chair, shopping cart- whatever.  Withstands even the most fierce tantrum.  Toss! — and it never touches the ground.

Only downside is that the toddler occasionally manages to release one end or the other of the strap.  BUT– still worth it.

Summary:

Good:  SippiGrip ($6.99 at Amazon.com)

September 10, 2009. Baby, Food & Drink, Health, Toddler, Travel. Leave a comment.