Now that it is nippy out and I had to get down the family’s winter gear from the attic we could finally see if BB was up for my favorite game show, Will The Baby Keep His Hat On? I’m not sure if it counts as a win or not because the game show’s rules are a bit fuzzy, but BB does indeed NOT keep his hat on. Much like his socks there is nothing he does faster than take his hat off. Which is why we needed a something a little stronger. Dots on Tots, made from organic cotton, are double thick baby hats that feature Velcro on the flaps. Of course like most good baby products these hats are made by a mom in the good ole US of A. The flaps completely cover the youngster’s ears to try and prevent ear infections. Dots also makes a Noise Reduction hat with ear protection inserts in case you’re like me and you keep taking the baby to Metallica concerts. I’m still waiting for someone to make a hat that doesn’t just cover the ears, but also stops the little guy’s nose from running as it does all winter.
As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know well, I like things that are not only simple, but do what they claim to do. In honor of Halloween’s arrival and the possibility that your kid may be dressed as a ghost and actually disappear, Uh Oh Bands are an easy way to gain piece of mind. The silicone waterproof bands slip on with ease and allow you to write the child’s name and number in case of misplacement. They also have bands for allergies and medical conditions. I have seen child info tattoos and stickers, which work well, but require a little extra effort; bands are as easy as it gets, as the bands simply state, “Uh Oh I’m Lost.” I’m still waiting for them to come out with an adult version since I can never find The Mommy in Target.
I had a hunch that LTD would dig getting his first ever sleeping bag, but I was not prepared for the extreme level of reaction he had. In fact, as I write this I’m still trying to get him out of it. We are in the very early stages of figuring out how to expose LTD to the concept of camping outside. So far he loves tents but we have only set them up inside. When I was a boy one of the things about camping that I didn’t like was being cold (as oppose to all the people that like being cold) so I want him to be, in his words, ‘toasty’ warm. Deuter’s kid sleeping bag is a little hard core for simple sleep overs at grandmas, but it is as LTD would also say, the real deal. The Little Star EXP features an adjustable foot section that allows you to take the bag from 3 feet to a little over 4 to compensate for a child’s growth. The bag is made from all sorts of durable space age stuff but the words Thermal Bonding have been tossed into the mix which means it is wicked warm but is able to breathe. Unfortunately, the current heat wave forced LTD out of the sleeping bag or else he would still be inside.
Being back in the baby business for the second time is a lot like the first, but I will admit we are slightly more tired (lazy) then for the first dance. Of course we are using most of LTD’s gear for BB, but amazingly in the last four years there have been some cool new developments that we could have used the back then. The Mommy and I have never had good luck with the diaper bag (as I always wanted a backpack and she did not) so we basically used two and half bags and I it was hard to find things. For BB we have done things a little different, Me+Mine Files by SugarSNAP is basically a filing system for the diaper bag. The five mesh bags, which fit in a diaper bag or basically any bag you want, feature blank tabs for you to write the contents of the bag or you can use the category stickers provided. And like most good baby products these were created by two moms who saw and a problem and fixed it. I know what you’re thinking; won’t I lose the bags inside my bottomless black hole of a bag? Each bag has a detachable ring that hooks to a larger central ring for a key ring effect, so in theory you shouldn’t lose them. The mesh bags are semi-see through so you can tell what is inside in case someone put something back without reading the label. The system works well so that you can make any bag a diaper bag much like having a car seat base for each car.
I would like to say that now that BB is five months old and we are starting solids that we are back in the bib business, but truthfully that the way LTD eats yogurt we never left. As my number one priority when it comes to bibs is in the cleaning department, I am all about the BPA free silicone. Ulubulu Silicone Baby Bibs are, as LTD would say, the leader of our bib collection. I don’t like to put bibs in the laundry since they have so much food wiff on them that I think it is gross to put them in with the clothes (trust me the cloth diapers already meet the household gross laundry requirement). Not only are the Ulubulu’s wipe clean capable but feature a crumb catcher that works overtime when the little guy eats anything that generates crumbs. As an added bonus they come in silly monster designs and you can never go wrong with silly monsters.
While LTD is four his eating habits drift towards a child of younger disposition. He still has a difficult relationship with the fork. Therefore the placemat has become a vital part of our dining experience. A lot of our hard plastic placemats get sticky and worn quickly from cleaning and fork abuse so we have turned to our friend vinyl. The Oopsy Daisy roll up soft vinyl reversible placemat is easily cleaned after each zoo like feeding cycle. As an added bonus the placemats feature cool designs including animals from around the globe and world landmarks by artist Donna Ingemanson. We use the map version and it is nice to be able to see all the countries instead of the scratched out missing LTD edition from the other placemats.
LTD has been watching a bit of the undersea adventure show The Octonaunts lately. I don’t mind the show as it has its beginnings in England so the characters all sound more professional and act with more gravity then some of the other shows on Disney Junior (ie. that creepy princess show. The show focus on a team of ocean adventurers who discover new worlds, creatures and promote ocean conservation. The Fisher Price toy line has the characters from the show and one of them comes with something called a Vampire Squid which is something that I don’t remember on any Jacque Cousteau special. The show also has a Life Aquatic vibe which gives the toys a pretty cool color spectrum. So far the little guy loves the Octo-Compass as he is getting into maps and states. I like the toys that logically can also go in the tub as LTD still puts up a fight in that department and every bit helps.
Growing up in Maine where the state bird is the mosquito I was no stranger to bug spray. Of course the kids of today no longer need to empty a can of Raid on themselves to fight of flying bugs. The youth of today can use more natural and less harmful bug repellants. Now that the weather has brought us flying biting pests LTD sports the BugBand insect repellent wristband. The band (that comes in many colors) uses Geraniol to create a force field around the wearer. What is Geraniol, you ask? Geraniol is a “powerful ingredient extracted from geranium plant oil through a unique refining process, does indeed provide a natural – and extremely effective – insect repellent.” In addition to avoiding any messy spray or eye rubbing incidents the BugBand works for up to 120 hours. I am pleased that the little guy’s legs will remain bite free as I know he would totally scratch and I don’t want him looking like he has the plague by the end of the summer.
What can I say, the boy likes smoothies. Okay, I can say one more thing, he often likes to take the straw out and whip it around or play with it in other un-productive ways. Do you want to know how many smoothie ingredients stain? The answer is a lot. The Sili Squeeze goes a long way to stop blueberry spots from turning up on the ceiling. As the company says, it’s not a bottle as much as it is a way to eat blended things on the go. The Sili is dishwasher safe and BPA and Phthalate free. After the baby stage one can move up a weight class with the Sili Squeeze with Eeeze, which features an easier nipple spout because toddlers don’t suck as hard as babies. One of the reasons I like the Sili is that for awhile LTD hit an applesauce phase, but has since drop it like a bad habit. I use the Sili as a fun applesauce delivery system. Also, it looks like something people will be drinking out of in the future on Star Trek or something.
The Mommy is always using bags for various activities, but truth be told she uses them mostly for knitting and baby stuff. One of the bags in heavy rotation is her Virescent bag. These eco-friendly American made bags are actually part of something pretty cool, they help you with fundraising. No more door to door candy bars or wrapping paper. You basically pick out the type of campaign you want to run and then open a custom web storefront and then you are good to go. You also have the option of putting your foundation or school logo on the bags. Additionally, Virescent will work with you to design a bag from scratch. The bags are created using recycled and 100% organic cotton and they feel solid. Certainly solid enough for The Mommy to hold what seems like a whole sheep’s worth of yarn (so far it has also resisted getting a hole via knitting needle). Now if only they could invent a bag you don’t forget in the car when shopping.