Friday, February 26, 2010

Kidco, Inc. - PeaPod™

Kidco Peapod Travel Bed
The Kidco, Inc. - PeaPod™ is an innovative approach to the travel bed. No longer must parents pack around the heavy and awkward playpen, when compressed, the Peapod is about the size of a couch pillow and weighs only a little bit more. When expanded the Peapod provides adequate room for a toddler to lay or sit up, though it will not allow for any standing. It comes with its own carrying case - with handles - and a self-inflating matress (or a hand pumped one depending on the model), the tent mesh provides UV coverage so its great for a picnic at the park or a day at the beach and the Peapod is a cinch to setup and once you've practiced a few times, putting it away is actually pretty easy too!

My son was eight months old when we traveled for three weeks to China, Hong Kong & Thailand and prior to departing I spent some serious time trying to figure out where he was going to sleep. We've never really co-slept, my son won't fall asleep in the bed with me, and I wasn't so sure I wanted to start that habit at eight months old. Enter the Peapod, we practiced at home, placing the Peapod right inside of my sons crib at naptime (it fit perfectly) and we took the Peapod to our friends' and families homes so that he would have a chance to get familiar with "his tent" as we called it.

The price on the Peapod is around $80, which seemed a little steep at the outset, but I only wish I had bought it a little bit sooner as it would have been perfect in those early months when your baby is barely ever awake. Introducing the Peapod during those early trips to the grandparents, would have meant easy sleeps at any locale as the baby got a little older. Regardless, the Peapod is well constructed and sturdy, offers comfort, familiarity and UV protection to your little one and is lightweight and easy to transport. All things considered, you get what you pay for and I think the Peapod is worth the price.

For $10more, I chose to purchase the Peapod with a self-inflating mattress, rather than one that must be inflated by hand (it does come with a hand pump). Like most self-inflating mattresses I have ever used, the Peapod mattress quickly inflates on its own, but I usually would add a little more air manually as I like the mattress a little firmer than it inflates on its own. The Peapod comes with a zippered pouch to insert the mattress, however I chose to place the mattress directly inside the tent instead, as that allowed me to put a crib sheet over the mattress, which was preferable from my perspective.

As I alluded earlier, the take-down of the Peapod can be challenging at first, as it requires a twist and compress method, but after a few tries it practically does it on its own. I do find myself a little hesitant to use the Peapod now that now that my son is a little older and likes to stand in his bed, but I know that in a few more months the Peapod will be a great tent for play and imagination, so I'm not too concerned about the amount of use it is currently getting. The Peapod was a great investment and an absolute must for traveling (especially if you are going touring and will be changing locales frequently.

All things considered, I give the Kidco Peapod Travel Bed 4.5/5!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

True Cuddles - A Truly Good Deal. Until It's Gone.

True Cuddles
I admit it, I think I may be a little bit addicted to Daily Deal baby shopping sites. These sites offer super cute items, that I didn't know I needed, for a vastly discounted price. To add insult to injury, these deals disappear quickly, so you have to make a decision and make your purchases quickly.True Cuddles was the first daily deal website that I discovered, and I have made quite a few great purchases, including Pacimals, Mimitens & Teething Bling to name a few.

True Cuddles is a Canadian website (a plus for a canuck such as myself), based out of Calgary, Alberta however they do ship to the US.

Each Monday at 9am MST a new "cuddle" goes up for grabs and True Cuddles offers email notifications (which arrive consistently on time) to ensure you never miss a cuddle. Their website also features a weekly Mompreneur and offers a weekly giveaway to their readers.

Since True Cuddles was the first deal website I came across, waiting a week for a new sale seemed totally reasonable and beneficial for my wallet. I often wish that "cuddles" came more often, but I can only imagine how much effort goes into running a website of this nature.

True Cuddles provides quality products at a great price, shipping is reasonable and prompt (in accordance with their website FAQ's) and their website provides exposure for Mompreuners and prizes for readers, all in all a great website.

As the Momma of a young boy, I have noticed over the past few months there seems to be a lot of hairclips and girlie items that don't apply to me. This may however just be my own bias, and I know there are many more girl products out there than boy products, so I can't really count this as a complaint.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

WYSI Wipes

I recently took my son, who was eight months at the time, on an international trip to China, Hong Kong and Thailand. For someone who does their best to be eco-conscious in their purchases and actions, traveling with an infant can pose some challenges at best.

At home we use cloth diaper service, and I wash small cloths instead of using disposable wipes all the time. We sometimes use the disposable wipes, but no one can do everything all the time. I struggled a little bit with face wipes. Its just a fact of life that after a baby eats he or she, needs their face wiped.

Although my wipes of choice are natural and and alcohol-free, I still felt some hesitation about wiping my sons face with them. He has very sensitive skin and is prone to rash and eczema so the thought of using wipes on his face multiple times a day, didn't seem like the best idea.

Enter Wysi Wipes these small, light, compressed wipes expand with just a small amount of water, are soft, natural and biodegradable. They fit perfectly in the cap of a water bottle to be moistened, and store in a film canister or old medication bottle to take with you on the go. When warm water is on hand, my son liked it better when I wiped his face, but hey travellers can't be choosy right?

When visiting our family rural village, we also used Wysi Wipes as a washcloth in the baby's bath. The wipe does start to soften and rip from continual use, they really are only single-use items, but they did the trick.

At about $0.12 a wipe (if you buy the 100 pack) these are great for in your purse, diaper bag, car or backpack. I still have extras after three weeks of travelling with the baby and not only do I keep some in my bag, I pass a few on to Momma's I know all the time.

You can also use the wipes with a little bit of natural cleaner for a natural cleaning cloth or really whatever else you can think of. I only use them for wiping my baby's face, but there truly are a ton of potential uses.

WYSI WIPES are a great product, they are compact, functional and for something that is disposable, they are biodegradable and free of chemicals (a plus in my books). I give WYSI WIPES a 5/5 a great product to have in your bag for emergencies, meals out or travelling.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Boon Bath Goods: Designer Toys & Scrubbies

boon bath goods toys

My son received Boon Bath Goods at his baby shower and at first glance I wasn't sure how enjoyable these particular toys would be; they looked neat, that's for sure but beyond that I really didn't know. Perusal of the Boon website didn't provide much more information, although it assured me that the foam would not absorb the water, thus reducing any potential growth of mold or mildew. From a health perspective that is of course an important note.

Around two months of age, the boy and I started sharing a bath before bedtime each night. At first he just laid in the tub, and after a few weeks we decided to crack open the Boon Bath Goods and try them out. Due to the assortment of shapes, we carefully chose a few shapes that would be easy for his small, uncoordinated hands to grasp and tossed them in the tub with us.

The boy loved them. At first he would just hold the Boon Bath Toys, then he started shaking them and chewing on them. He loved them so much, he always took one out of the bath and when we towelled, lotioned and dressed him, he would happily chew away on his Boon Bath Goods instead of fighting us during the process. He loved them so much that they became a toybag staple, at playdates I needed to make sure that there was two, or the kids would pull back on forth on the one.

An added bonus of Boon Bath Goods is that the soft foam shapes stick on the sides of the bathtub providing lots of visual stimuli for your little one when they are young and as they get older they can start grasping and pulling them off the side of the tub themselves.The boy  was so proud of himself when he figured this out!

As the boy has started to develop teeth, I was a little worried about the wear and tear on the Boon Bath Goods, but he now possess' four teeth and has not yet ripped, torn or otherwise mangled any of his toys. Now granted he doesn't play with them quite so much now that he is almost 11 months old, and that lack of absorbency in the foam means that teething on the Boon Bath Toys definitely requires a bib (or results in a very wet shirt).

All of that being said, my son showed little interest in the balls, despite their small size, and we never used the scrubbies, instead opting to use organic washcloths we received as gifts. I'm sure these two facets are great for some people, but in my house they just never seem to get used.

The Boon website lists this product for $14.99 and I have seen them locally for $19.99; my son has easily had 9 months of play with these toys and they are none the worse for the wear, all in all these are amazing toys for both in and out of the bathtub.

Taking into account Durability, Enjoyability & Price I have to give Boon Bath Goods a solid 4/5!