Unfortunately my toddler won’t always be a toddler and someday he’ll be on his own. For now though, I get to have him around all day everyday and I love making sure he has the coolest and best products on the market to enjoy. What we use in our house is largely organic or natural in some way so I also like to find the best organic products that are out there or use products that are safe for the environment.
Smiling Planet has recently come out with recycled plates that contain no BPA, phthalates, lead or toxic inks. The best part is you can put them in the dishwasher and they are a unique shape so they stack nicely in your cupboards. The prints on them are very cute as well. In staying with dishes that are good for the environment you should consider using Wrap-N-Mats for your snacks and sandwiches. Each one wraps your food up, secures with Velcro and is reusable. When you open them they double as a placemat to keep your eating area germ free.
Think Baby Bottles are also a great product for infants that are BPA free and very safe. They have a venting system and some of the varieties have handles to help double as a trainer cup.
If you’re looking for a new snack to keep in your pantry try Peeled Snacks dried fruit. Dried apricots, apples, bananas, cherries, mango and more are simply fruit and are good for you. They have a great shelf life and they come in small bags so you won’t be stuck with large amounts of dried fruit that will go bad. They’re affordable and convenient. Each bag costs about $2.49. For your real little ones, Little Duck Organics makes great dried fruit bits for infants and toddlers just learning to eat on their own. They dissolve quickly in their mouth, but the best part is that these tiny snacks are far healthier than the typical puff snacks you’ll find in stores. The pieces of blueberries actually taste just as flavorful as fresh ones. They are gluten free and healthy. Pack all your snacks a necessities into a Bumble Diaper Bag and you’re ready to go. Bumble Bags are by far the best diaper bag I’ve seen on the market and they’re the most fashionable. The prints are great, and the bags are made with each piece having a purpose and need. You won’t have any complaints with this bag.
Tote beverages around in the Safe Sippy. It’s a 2 in 1 sippy or straw cup that is relatively leak proof. It’s made of stainless steel which is the current trend for healthiest beverage containers aside from glass. The Safe Sippy is good for children older that 6 months and they are BPA free. If you have a messy toddler (But cute of course!) you can add some extra protection to his or her car seat by adding the Kiddie Kangaroo carseat cover. It fits over the seat area, hangs over the sides (There are removable pockets for snacks, toys or drinks) and in case there is a spill or diaper leak the entire carseat cover won’t need to be removed. If you’re going on the road the get some shopping done make sure you bring along your OnTray. This plastic tray clips onto the handlebar of a shopping cart and serves as a ‘plate’ for snacks that will keep your toddler occupied and happy. It’s dishwasher safe, and really a great idea.
It’s going to be getting chilly again so make sure you pick up a Sprout Shell. This 4 in1 infant carrier cover will not only protect your baby from the elements but it can double as a nursing cover, shopping cart cover or high chair cover. There are some really cute prints available and they are pretty affordable for a product that is so multi-purpose. If you’re a mom on the go make sure you have some Envirosax bags in your car or diaper bag. These nylon bags roll up to the size of a small wallet and roll out to be very roomy reusable shopping bags. They’re great to have around for spur of the moment errands or trips to amusement parks when you end up leaving with more than you brought. For day trips you can also keep an Easy Lunch Boxes cooler bag and container set handy for healthy lunches or snacks on the go. Each set is affordable and can be found at www.easylunchboxes.com. A variety of colors are available.
I have to rave about Annabel Karmel’s most recent cookbooks. Her Top 100 Finger Foods: 100 Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Child is the most fantastic children’s cookbook I’ve ever had in my hands. To be honest, I think some of the recipes are so good, I would make them even if I didn’t have a child. The corn cake recipe is a hit in my house as well as the veggie bites. The best part is, these recipes are all super health and you’ll know what your family is eating because you made the food from scratch. This is definitely a must-have for new moms or even seasoned moms who love to cook!
When you have a baby it takes some time to get that pre-pregnancy body back. Oh who am I kidding, it will never be the same even if you lose the weight. isABelt is a really great product to have around if you’re having one of those days when you can’t find anything in your closet that fits you right, or nothing looks good on you. It’s a vinyl type belt that lays flat against your belly (No more clunky buckles) and will not only help your pants fit better, but your shirt will look smoother in the front. Added bonus, you won’t have to remove this belt at the airport as there is no metal involved! Each belt is adjustable though they do come in general sizes and very affordable. Different colors are available as well. Also keep a Jaks band in your drawer for preventable fashion mishaps. Jaks is a band that’s worn over your pants but under your shirt. It gives you the layered look underneath the bottom of your shirt and you can be sure any amount of bending over or moving around during the day won’t show any midriffs or more. $38 for each Jaks and you can buy them at www.missoops.com. Complete your wardrobe with Hollywood Fashion Tape to hold down loose tops or dresses and you’ll look better than you did before you had a baby!
Once you become a Mom or Dad your entertaining days might not be as plentiful as they once were, but entertain in style with a Soda Club Soda Stream maker. You can make your own seltzer with attached CO2 containers and add a variety of flavor mixes to the seltzer to impress your friends. Drink as is or mix in your favorite variety of alcohol for a night away from the little ones!
Everyone’s favorite coloring company: Crayola, is coming out with some new games for the little ones. Guess my Picture is a toddler friendly version of pictionary using shape pieces, Doodle Match is a great memory game that also encourages learning colors and shapes and Color Mix-A-Roo is for kids who are a little older and are starting to learn the difference between primary and secondary colors. These products can be found through Wild Planet at www.wildplanet.com. Give your child something unique to color with by visiting the DesignACrayon site. These hand poured creations are incredibly cute and are great for your own home, or even as a party favor this holiday season.
If you need swaddling blankets for your little one or even for a gift idea, Aden + Anais makes the best blankets I’ve ever seen by far. They are made of 100% cotton muslin and they’re positively adorable. They’re thin, large, breathable and they’re so cute your infant will be carrying them around as a security blanket long into their toddler year. Pick up some products by One Lucky Baby (Bibs, burp cloths, blankets and more) to complete a gift a new mom will never forget. Z.daisy has some great Binkie Bungees that are a new mom must have and they have really cute designs at their site www.zdaisy.com. Instead of throwing in your typical stuffed animal addition to a gift, inclue a Cloud B Twilight animal that either lights up the ceiling around you with constellations or fills the air with a light aromatherapy scent to calm and soothe and L’oved Baby has great designer baby clothes and nursing shawls for moms to be.
A different product to purchase for your household is the Sound Oasis Sound Therapy System. There are a variety of units available (Clocks, radios, etc.) but all of them have sound therapy tracks that can be really useful for an infant as well as an adult. Different sound cards are available for the different units and the sound of a car ride or heartbeat can soothe a fussy baby back to sleep or the sound of a thunderstorm can work to wind down any adult after a hectic day. The best part of having one of these units is their ability to cover outside noise so if you live in a busy city setting or live around construction, these sound systems will help drown out noise around you. Now and Zen makes a different type of clock that instead of waking you to that annoying beeping sound that we all cringe when hearing, you will wake up to a slow progression of actual chimes that can be programmed a variety of ways.