Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Little Tikes Bathketball

Just saying it, "Bathketball"  makes you feel like a little kid again.  I know you are silently saying it to yourself this very minute, right? :)  I was looking for new bath toys for Chandler right around his 2nd birthday.  I found this at Walmart and decided to give it a try.

Pros:  It is a very cute toy and quite sturdy.  It is about 3 inches wide and has a hard plastic rim.  The net has a drawstring at the bottom so when you are done with the toy you can put the balls in it and keep them there until next bath time.  It comes with 3 cute balls that squirt water and have silly faces on them in a basketball design.  The suction holds up really well.  I was surprised at how well it holds even on uneven surfaces.  Chandler loves this toy too.  Rowan is starting to like it as well even though it is for older kids.  It has 3 spinning beads on it that he likes to play with. 

Cons:  Like any "squirt" bath toy you can only have these for so long.  After a few months, stuff started coming out with the water...aka mold :(  I tried cleaning them out with a disinfectant but it's not like you can get inside to actually wipe it down, so we threw the little balls away.  I did find other balls that he could use it with though.  The net is also a little long and it is easy for other toys to get stuck in it as well as little boy arms.  Yes, we've gotten those stuck too.   Chandler also gets frustrated when he can't get something through the narrow bottom end of the net.  The net gets grimy too.

The Bottom Line:  Very cute toy and fun to play with but design is not 100% kid proof.  Good for ages 2+

Price: $8-$15 depending on location

Where to Buy:  Walmart, Toys R Us, Amazon

Rating:  OK

Monday, September 29, 2008

Baby Bjorn Original Carrier

"Baby Wearing" is becoming more and more popular. It seems like I'm seeing lots of parents with carriers, slings, and wraps. I used my friend's baby bjorn for a few days with Chandler and knew I wanted to have one when I had Rowan.

Pros: The support for this carrier is excellent. I have used other carriers such as the snugli which is much cheaper but doesn't have near the support. It has wider padded straps which help distribute the weight of baby. It's also very easy to put your baby in by yourself which is a must. The front of the carrier completely opens so that you don't wake baby up when getting them out. I like how your baby can face against you while young and have support while feeling cradled and warm. When baby gets older they can face outward and the top of the carrier can be folded down so baby can look around and interact with others. There is a size adjustment strap on the bottom of the carrier that grows as baby does. You can use this carrier from 8-25 lbs and from 21 inches. This also washes up really nicely and keeps looking new after lots of use. I used this from the time Rowan was born, and are still using it at 8 months. (He's about 19 lbs right now) It is VERY durable and holds up.

Cons: I remember wishing that this carrier had support around the waist as most of the weight is on your shoulder. Baby Bjorn now makes these with a waist strap, although the one I have doesn't have it. It is a bit tricky to figure out this carrier at first if you don't throughly read through the instructions. If you read through them, however and practice putting it on before you use it it isn't bad.

The Bottom Line: Great carrier and worth the investment.

Price: $79.99, but I know you can find these cheaper. I watched for sales and got mine for $40 off Amazon

Where to Buy: Amazon, Target

Rating: Great

Friday, September 26, 2008

I borrowed a traditional baby bouncer from my friend when I had Chandler, so I wanted one of my own with Rowan. My mom said she would buy us a bouncer and ended up getting us this Infant to Toddler Rocker made by Fisher Price. I wasn't sure how much I would like it since it didn't bounce like a normal bouncer.

Pros: This is a versatile rocker you can use from birth, up until 40 lbs. Chandler, who is almost 3 and 31 lbs sits in it and it is very sturdy. It has a recline position, or a stopper/kickstand that keeps it from rocking. This is great for infants who can't support their head as it lays them back. There is also a toybar with 3 animals for baby to look at and play with. The two toys on the sides have spinning balls in them with rattles. These two toys are a hard plastic. The toy in the middle has a handle to pull. When pulled it plays Old McDonald, and is a soft teething toy. The toybar is removable and so are the individual toys which is a nice plus. One thing that I'm glad this rocker had was the vibrating feature. It takes 2 D batteries. As baby gets older and is able to support their head, you can put the kickstand back so the chair will rock. The back part of the seat also has 2 recline positions. As your child gets older and enters the toddler stage, this is the perfect little chair for reading books or watching television. I like that Chandler can sit in it and I don't have to worry about him breaking it. It has a nice hard metal frame. The cover is also easy to take off and washes up nice in the washing machine.

Cons: The seat of this chair is made up of a hard wood. I don't think it would be extremely comfortable but neither of my boys have seemed to mind. The vibrating is very subtle on this chair thus making it easy to forget to turn it off. I've wasted a lot of batteries by forgetting to turn it off and just leave the batteries out now. I wish the toy bar were a little more interactive. Although I like the rocking feature, I miss the bounce of traditional bouncy seats. Also, if you take this out of recline position when baby is still learning to support their head, they tend to throw themselves forward.

The Bottom Line: A good alternative to a bouncy seat that will grow with your child

Price: $31.00

Where to Buy: Amazon

Rating: OK

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Boon Squirt

From first looking at the title of this post, you probably aren't sure what to expect. However, when I saw this product and what it was used for, I knew I had to have it. Boon is dedicated to innovative products and anything that makes my life easier is great.

Pros: This is a one handed feeding spoon. There are only 2 pieces. You unscrew the orange part to put baby foods in, and screw it back onto the clear plastic spoon part. This works great with 1st, 2nd and some 3rd baby foods. It also works well with rice cereal that isn't made too thick as the spoon is designed for purees. There is a small hole in the bottom of the spoon to let the food through. All you do is squeeze the orange part and more food is dispensed into the spoon. I like how the spoon is angled so you always have purees ready to come into the spoon part. As many moms know, when your little one is hungry, they want it now. This spoon is great for quicker, less messy eating. It is also incredibly easy to clean and is dishwasher safe on the top rack. It makes feeding time so much cleaner as well. There is also a removable cap that goes on the spoon part which makes this spoon ideal for the diaper bag and eliminates jars and other baby food containers. When you are done feeding baby on the go, put the cap back on, and throw it back in the diaper bag. No messes, I love it. It also comes in pink in addition to the orange.

Cons: I wish I would have found this spoon sooner because it doesn't work with chunky foods. Therefore you can't use it as long as you'd like. The spoon is also a little deep making it somewhat hard sometimes when baby is trying to get all of the food from it.

Bottom Line: Great investment, easy to use, recommended from about 4 months.

Price: $7.99

Where to Buy: Amazon

Rating: Great

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Halloween Giveaway!

What are your favorite memories of Halloween? What will you or your child be this year? Any Halloween products you can't live without? Answer one or all of these questions as a comment below and be entered to win a Halloween Tee from Old Navy for your child. In addition to your comment, if you send me an e-mail with a review of your favorite Halloween children's product/costume you will get an extra entry. (Reviews will be featured in a special Halloween review - Please review a product or costume you have already used) Send the e-mail with a picture to post on the site and you will get 2 entries! E-mails should be sent to snedfam@gmail.com There will be 2 winners for this giveaway, and the last day to enter is October 3rd. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gerber Lil' Dippers

Learning to self feed can be a little messy. Ok - so not just a little messy....VERY MESSY. It seems like it has been my destiny to clean the kitchen floor like 10 times a day. With an almost 3 year old who doesn't always "aim" right, and an 8 month exploring self feeding, there's always all sorts of treasures on my floor. I know many moms know this all too well. How about another product to add to that?

Pros: These Lil' Dippers are designed for babies learning to self feed. They are a small chunky utensil that has a soft grip wide handle on one side. On the other side is a hard plastic that resembles a fork without space in between the prongs. It is a nice for teething if anything else. The concept is that the baby will dip the hard plastic part into food and then bring it up to his/her mouth and chew on it - thus helping the self feeding process along. Good concept. It is also great as it helps your baby not to gag themselves as the plastic part is not very long, like they would with a spoon.

Cons: Maybe this is better for older kids, but I assume my child is at the self feeding stage at 8 months as he has mastered his pincher grip. I put a small bowl of sweet potatoes in front of Rowan, a lil' dipper in each hand and observed. He immediately dropped his little utensils and stuck his hands in bowl. Then he held up his fingers and started squishing it through, smiling at the sound it made, and probably at how it felt too. I tried again with him, this time guiding his hand and the lil' dipper down to the puree and then back into his mouth. He seemed to like it, but liked chewing on the lil' dipper more. I had to guide him each time as to what he was supposed to do. The little grooves really don't hold a whole lot either.

So an overall good idea, but not really necessary. I'd rather give Rowan a soft spoon to hold while I am feeding him, and let him chew on that.

Price: $3-4 for a 2 pack

Where to Buy: Diapers.com, Target

Rating: Ok

Monday, September 22, 2008

Baby Legs

The other day I bought a pair of these ever so popular Baby Legs and my husband was a little baffled. Here is how our conversation went:

"Look at these cute new baby legs!"

"Baby legs....what are baby legs?"

"They are like a leg warmer accessory for babies!"

"I don't get it?"

"What don't you get? They make diaper changing easier, and keep his legs warm!"

"Don't pants keep his legs warm?"

At this point I am a little flustered...

"They are a cute accessory for babies, I wouldn't expect you to understand. Maybe it's a woman thing."

So even though he still doesn't really "understand" baby legs, I don't care. I love them.

Pros: I like the reason that they were created. A mom was trying to air out her baby's bum from diaper rash. She didn't want her baby's legs to get cold so she created a pair of baby legs for her to heal. They also serve the purpose of easier diaper changing. If your baby is wearing a onesie and pants, there is one more thing to get through to change a diaper. However, with the baby legs, you just have to deal with the onesie. Baby legs come in different varieties: An Original, Supersoft, Vermont Organic Cotton, and Vermont Organic Wool. We have a pair of the original. They are a lot like a warm sock and are a cotton, polyester, spandex blend. They are so cute and come in tons of different designs as well. These are popular not only with girls but boys. I probably wouldn't put these on my little guy when he gets a little older, but they are great while he is still a small baby. They are great for crawling too as they help protect those little knees. I've seen them also worn on little girls in place of tights. I've heard they are also great little kids and potty training.

Cons: After a couple washes, our baby legs started piling a bit but I guess that is to be expected. I'm not sure how the supersoft or organic hold up as we don't have either of those. They tend to leave marks on Rowan's thighs as I mentioned before because he is a little chubby. I'm also finding myself pulling them up quite a bit.


Where to Buy:
Baby Legs Site, Target (I picked Rowan's baby legs up at Target)

Rating: Great

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shoo Shoos

I don't understand why manufacturers make hard soled shoes for babies.  Rowan has a couple pair and he hates when they are on his feet.  They are clunky, get in the way, and he tries to get them off.  When Chandler started walking and we put hard soled shoes on him, he fell down - a lot.  I wish I had bought a pair of soft soled shoes like shoo shoos for him.

Pros:  These are made of 100% nappa leather and are great quality.  Shoo Shoos has a lot of different designs to fit any child and any outfit.  They hold up extremely well and wipe clean with a damp cloth.  Rowan can move his little toes and they don't get in the way of him trying to crawl or pull up next to things.   They have an elastisized ankle which keeps the shoe on and a non slip sole. Plus his feet are protected.  I ordered him a size medium (6-12) and I think it is comparable to a size 3 shoe.  When we got the shoos in the mail they were in this clear handbag, how cute is that?  Plus the Shoo Shoos site has great sales, their Fall clearance right now!  They are stylish, comfortable, and hold up well.  If you order from the website, all 

Cons:  The elastic in the shoe can cut into little ankles if they are chubby like my little guys.  He doesn't complain about it but he has nice little indents after we take them off.  I also think that regular price, $19.95 is a little much for a shoe that they will only wear for a few months.  Although I know there are other brands like pediped & Robeez that are much more expensive.

Price:  $19.95 ($10.95 on sale!)  + $2.50 shipping

Where to Buy:  Shooshoos site

Rating: Excellent

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We didn't own a baby monitor with Chandler. However, a few months after Rowan was born we lived with my parents temporarily. I was used to living in a 2 bedroom apartment where I could hear Rowan no matter where I was at. This wasn't the case at my parents. They have a big backyard so of course Chandler was wanting to go outside a lot. Rowan was still at that newborn stage where he slept a lot and I wasn't too excited about taking him outside. I decided to start researching baby monitors. I didn't want to spend a lot of money, but I wanted something that was going to be worth it as well. I finally decided on the Fisher Price Long Distance 900 MHz monitor:

Pros: This monitor has a range of 900 feet. The range really works too. I could go outside with Chandler, anywhere in the yard and still hear Rowan downstairs in the basement. 900 feet seems to be one of the longer ranges available when it comes to baby monitors too. I like that it has a belt clip that you can use or take off. I used it often and it seemed to serve it's purpose. The receiver takes 3 AAA batteries or has a plug in. The battery life is good. On a pair of alkaline batteries it lasted over 2 weeks, using the batteries a couple hours a day. And if you need to use it at night, you just plug it into the wall. The monitor also beeps a warning when the batteries are going dead. I like the indicator lights on the receiver. There is an indicator light that shows you noise if you don't have the sound up. This is nice when you want to take a shower and still be tuned into baby. If the red lights were at the bottom, no noise. If they were jumping up and down, it meant Rowan was crying. It also has a light to let you know if you are out of range. There are 4 channels helping you to get a clear sound without interference.  The white noise this monitor creates is minimal, although we have a little more with ours as we run a humidifier/fan in Rowan's room.    The transmitter plugs into the wall and is quite small. There is a button to turn it on and off so you don't have to unplug it. There is also a built in night light which is a plus when you are checking on baby or getting up for a night time feeding.

Cons: Although there is minimal interference with the monitor, if you have another electrical device such as a cell phone, it starts making a low pitched sound. It also picks up other monitors occasionally as we are in an apartment complex, but I guess that's why there are 4 channels. I think it would also be nice if the receiver were rechargable. If you are going to be taking it around a lot you have to buy and replace batteries which makes it more of an investment.

Price: $38.99

Where to Buy: I bought this at Babycenter for $35 and they offer free shipping occasionally. I have also seen it at Target.

All in all, I am happy with this monitor. It was fairly inexpensive, does it's job, is small, and has a lot of great features. If you are in the market for an inexpensive baby monitor, I would recommend this one.

Rating: Excellent


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Help Needed

I am looking into opening up an online store to go along with my product review site. This is something I've wanted to do for a while it's just a matter of making an upfront investment and then hoping it goes well. Anyways, I know for sure I will be carrying Bella Tunno products. If you haven't checked out their stuff I highly recommend you do. Super Cute. There's also a few other products I am looking at for the time being. Anyways, here's where I need your help. I'm trying to figure out what to name my online store. I want something catchy that is easy to remember but also something that I will be able to get a domain name with. Babesandkids.com is already taken plus I want something different. I think I will mostly be offering baby products, maybe a few kid products. Anyways, if you would leave a comment and let me know your opinions. If you are interested too I will offer 25% off your first order & free shipping if you leave a comment once my site is up. THANK YOU!

Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder

I first started using these with Chandler. They were hard to find at the time and I only knew about them as my sister informed me of them. It seems like you can find these just about anywhere now.

The basis of this product is to allow your child to enjoy all sorts of foods without posing a choking hazard. The product design includes a mesh bag and a lid with a rubberized teething ring that snaps shut. They are easy to hold onto and are a good size for little hands. I have put all sorts of foods in these including, bananas, apples, ice, peaches, pears, raw vegetables, and more I'm sure that I can't think of now. It has let my babies enjoy fresh foods without the hazard of choking. It is also wonderful for teething if you put an ice cube in it. You can put this in the dishwasher on the top rack and they hold up fairly well. We are using the same feeder with Rowan that we used with Chandler. They are recommended for use from about 6 months.

Cons: I've heard many people complain that these are extremely difficult to clean. I've also read other reviews that have this complaint as well. I don't think they are that difficult to clean, as long as you do it while the food is still fresh. Of course if you let food dry in it, it is going to be difficult to clean out, I think bananas are the worst. However, if you rinse the bag right after baby is done with it, it is fairly easy clean up. The cap is a little hard to open too, but I would assume that it would be difficult to open as you don't want your baby to be able to open it.

Price: $2.99 - $4.99 depending on where you buy them.

Where to Buy: I've seen these at most retailers and grocers. You can also buy them online at Amazon and Drugstore

Rating: Excellent

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bumbo Seat

Many of you reading this have probably heard of the bumbo seat, have seen one, or possibly own one. I first saw them on the message boards at ivillage, where I post and communicate with a group of moms who have kids born around the same time as Chandler. I was curious, but they sold for $40 so I decided to do some research before I bought one. After a week of looking around, I decided to order one.

Pros: Your baby can sit in this seat from the time they can support their head, so it varies depending on your babies' development. The manufacturer's recommended age is 8 weeks to 12 moths. The bottom of the inside of the seat (where your child actually sits) is lower than the part where your child's legs come out. Because of this design, is is easy for your child to sit up in this seat. It has great back support too and allows your child to use muscles that will help them to sit up later. I used to bowl on a bowling league and would bring the bumbo seat for Chandler to sit in. He was 3-5 months at the time. He was so happy to sit in it and see what was going on. It is made of a durable foam material which makes it extremely light and easy to move around from room to room. It also seems like it would be very comfortable and is easy to clean - just wipe it down. We also have used this for feeding purposes. It is great when you start feeding your child solids but they aren't quite big enough to sit up in a high chair. I know there is a tray also available for $9.95 fits onto the bumbo. It measured 10" in tall and 15" wide and can be used until a child's hips are too big to fit in it. This chair is extremely durable too. We used it with Chandler who is now almost 3 years old and have used it with Rowan, (8 months) Chandler is well over 30 lbs now and when we first got the bumbo out to use with Rowan he wanted to sit it in again. He has done so many times and the bumbo still has held up great. It comes in 5 great colors too! This is also a great seat for children with special needs.

Cons: Depending on the nature of your child you may or may not get a lot of use out of this seat. Chandler started sitting in it at 2 1/2 months. He loved being independent and able to look around. However, by 5 months he was arching his back and trying to get out of the seat. If he arched his back and threw his weight backward he was able to get out of the seat. Rowan started sitting in it at 3 months and did well until about a month ago. So we really only got about 4 months use out of it both times. It was definitely worth it to me though as we will put it in storage and use it again. I also remember about a year ago reading about a parent who was pursuing lawsuit. The parent put their child on an elevated surface in the bumbo and the baby fell out and sustained a head injury. Bumbo now puts a warning on their seat not to use on an elevated surface, and that children may be able to get out of it as they get older. Come on, really - did you need a warning to know that your child could eventually get out of a seat that they aren't strapped in to?

Price: $39.95

Rating: Great

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sippy Cup Winner

The sippy cup winner is:  Erin!

Erin, if you'd e-mail me your choice of cup that I reviewed and your shipping address I'll get it to you! (snedfam@gmail.com)

Thank you Thank you  to everyone who posted comments last week on the sippy cups that I reviewed.  It's nice to know that I have some readers and hope this site will become even more valuable as I build more content.  I am going to try to do giveaways once a month so check back for another one in October!  Keep checking back for new product reviews too!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Munchkin Sippy Cups

Munchkin has been around since 1991. Although they haven't been around as long as some companies, they have some great sippy cups. It seems like they have a little bit of it all. They have an insulated cup much like The First Years, a straw cup like playtex, and the silicone cups which are like the Nuby brand. I'm interested in trying the cupsicle brand and will review that later if we do get it. I'm going to turn the focus to the cups we have have in our home that our boys use/have used.

Mighty Grip 8 oz Trainer Cup

Pros: This has a silicone spout much like the Nuby cups. I do however like these better than the Nuby trainer cups. The design is much better - the cup is more slender making it easier to put the lid on and easier to hold. The handles are a little slimmer and also easier for a baby to hold on to. The silicone spout is taller and skinnier than the Nuby one making it easier for little mouths to get what they need out. I also think the silicone is a bit more durable and lasts longer than the Nuby brand. These also come in a 10 oz cup without the trainer handles in the same slim design. The lids are also interchangable. They come in bright fun colors that seem very appealing.

Cons: I don't love the plastic handles. When they get wet it can be hard to hang on to them. It seems that the trainer cups that have the rubberized grips are much easier to hold. It also seems to leak if you don't put the lid on right.

Price: $2.49

Where to buy: Target

Rating: Great

Mighty Grip 10 oz Straw Cup

Pros: This straw cup is a little different than the flip straw cups. The straw is made out of soft silicone which makes for easy drinking. One thing I like: Chandler really likes to chew on the straw. The valve is down an inch, give or take, so when he chews on the straw he doesn't ruin the valve which can happen with the trainer & regular mighty grip cup. These only have 4 pieces to them and are dishwasher safe.

Cons: The straw doesn't flip down which means the straw is exposed all of the time.

Price: $3.49

Where to buy: Target

Rating: Great

$.99 Hard Plastic Cup

There is also a $.99 hard plastic cup we picked up at Target. It looked like it would work fairly well considering it was only $.99 I couldn't find it online or on the website but like I stated above, you can find them at target.

Pros: Inexpensive Cup. It seems quite durable, only has 3 pieces to it, and the design of the spout is small an contoured for a little mouth.

Cons: The valve is stubborn and it is hard to get liquid out of the cup. After many uses it does get better but the cup starts to leak.

Price: $.99

Where to Buy: Target

Rating: Not so Great

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Nalgene Sippy Cup

I didn't realize that Nalgene made a sipper cup until we babysat our neigbor's little boy about a year ago and he came with one. It was an alumni sipper cup from the college we were attending and then I noticed it had nalgene's logo on it. I was curious but never got one. I got one a few weeks back for each of the boys.


I couldn't put it better than they did on the Nalgene site so here is their description:
We’ve taken on Everest. Now we’re ready for toddlers! Nalgene containers have stood up to some of the worlds most extreme conditions. Small potatoes compared to small children. The new Nalgene Grip'n Gulp™ is tough enough to survive being thrown form a moving minivan, spill proof enough to compel parents to blame the rug stains on the dog, and odor proof enough to allow leftover milk to go undetected under the couch for months. Most importantly, its a great way for little kids to reach new heights.
  • Side indents are easy for tiny hands to grasp
  • Rubberized lid and smooth plastic mouthpiece make drinking comfortable
  • Superior threading on cup and lid is engineered to prevent spills
  • Durable TritanTM resists odors, stains, and residue
  • Cup, lid, and removable sipper valve are all top rack dishwasher safe
  • Lid loop can be clipped to backpack, diaper bag, or stroller
  • Twelve-ounce cup is compatible with OTG, ATB, and wide-mouth closures
  • This bottle is manufactured from Eastman Tritan TM copolyester that is manufactured without BPA
  • The recycling code on this product is #7, that means other.
Enough said - I couldn't agree more. I love the fact that it resists odor, stains, & residue. I also love the lid loop and how durable this product is. You can also buy replacement valves but we haven't had that problem yet. They also come in 4 super cute colors! I haven't had any problems with them leaking but we haven't had the cups very long. I will update this post after we have had them a while.

Cons: I can't find any!

Price: $9.25 + Shipping

Where to Buy: Nalgene Site

RATING: Excellent (As far as I can tell!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

The First Years Sippy Cups

I'm sure many of you have heard of, seen, or probably used cups from The First Years. They have the infamous "take and toss cups." They also have another cup that is usually seen in stores which we will be looking at.

Take and Toss

Pros: The take and toss are a plastic cup, with a plastic lid that snaps on. It's nice that there are only two pieces to this cup. They come in a variety of colors as well as many different characters. (Elmo, Disney, Thomas) The cups are a see through plastic so you always know how much liquid is in them. They are also quite inexpensive, hence the "take and toss" name. They are inexpensive enough that it doesn't hurt your budget if you lose one. They are BPA free as most sippy cups are now. It is easy to drink from and they are easy to clean. They come in a 5 oz learner size, 7 oz, and 10 oz size, as well as a straw sipper cup. They are also a great cup without the lid, easy for a toddler to drink from. I like that they are lightweight and easy for a child to carry around. We have bought these multiple times and I was pleasantly surprised with them.

Cons: Sometimes you get what you pay for. These cups are great at first but tend to crack easily, especially if your child chews on the spout. After they have cracked, you have to throw the lid away as it is totally not spill proof anymore. We also had problems with the lid coming off occasionally as it is a snap on lid versus the screw on lid that most sippy cups have. The spout also can become obstructed easily if you let anything dry in it, aka dried milk.

Price: Around $3.49 for a 4 pack

Where to Buy: Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kmart, Drugstore.com (Most retailers carry these)

Rating: Great

Insulated 9 oz Cup

Pros: This is a heavy duty cup. It is insulated to keep drinks cooler/warmer longer and seems almost indestructible. Once again, it is only 2 pieces as the valve is built in. The valve is silicone. These come in tons of different character styles, thus appealing to their audience. They are dishwasher safe.

Cons: I bought these cups for Chandler in the Disney Cars design when he was way into the movie. He was really excited to have the cups and was about 18-20 months at the time. I washed the cup, put water in it and a few minutes later Chandler threw the cup across the room. I handed it back to him and watched him try to suck the water out. He got frustrated again and threw the cup. Being curious as I am, I tried to drink out of the cup. My cheeks felt like they would if I were trying to blow up a tiny water balloon. It was ridiculous how terrible the flow of the cup was. I figured it would get better over time, but it didn't. We bought the cups in a two pack and the 2nd cup was just as bad as the first. The spout is also very large for a child's mouth, it makes drinking even more awkward. Not to mention the cup feels really heavy when full of liquid. I was mad that I had even spent money on this cup and ended up throwing them away.

Price: $8.00 for a two pack

Where to Buy: Amazon, Walmart

Rating: Terrible (If you can't sip out of a sippy cup - why buy it?)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gerber Sippy Cups

Gerber has been around a long time - since 1927 to be exact. They have a great informational website, a wide array of products, and lo and behold, sippy cups!

I am going to be looking at a few different cups - The Fun Grips Color Change & The Sip & Smile line. (There are other cups available, but these are the cups we have used)

Fun Grips Color Change

Pros: These cups are fairly easy to grip as the middle of the cup has ridges. It is shaped like an hourglass making it smaller in the middle and easy for little hands to hold. The valve actually does a pretty decent job and creates a good flow for your child. The valves are shaped in an oval and are made of a hard plastic. The actual valve is a soft silicone. It is easy to clean and easy to take out and put back in. We had a couple of these cups for about a year and I was impressed with how well the valve held up. I only had to replace them once. You can buy replacement valves at many of the same retailers that sell the cups. The cup changes color depending on if there is hot or cold liquid in it which is a fun plus. Like most cups, it is dishwasher safe on the top rack.

Cons: The shape of this cup is not ideal as it will not fit in a cup holder or the holders in a diaper bag. In this particular cup if you don't put the valve in tightly, it will fall out into the cup, thus causing the cup to leak. It's not the greatest teething cup either. If your toddler chews on it, it leaves permanent indents in the spout.

Price: Around $4.00 per cup

Where to Buy: Walmart, Diapers.com, Amazon, Target

Rating: Ok

Sip and Smile Soft Spout

I don't think this particular cup has been out very long and I was anxious to try it with Rowan.

Pros: One of my favorite features of this cup is how it angles up and forward. It almost looks like the back of the cup has melted but in essence it is to help babies so they don't have to work as hard to tip the cup, and don't have to put their head as far back. The handles on this cup are also great - they are rubberized and very easy to grip. The designs and colors for this cup are very cute and it is somewhat see through so you can see how much liquid is still left in the cup. Gerber has realized their problem with the valve in this cup and has made the valve better so it stays in place and won't come out with the cup is dropped or thrown. No matter how you put the lid on with this cup, it always lines back up to the front which is convenient with how it angles. The spout is a very soft silicone and wonderful for teething. You can see another picture of this cup (Rowan's) in this post.

Cons: For babies, it is hard to suck out of at first, but most cups with this type of valve are. I simply keep the valve out until they get the hang of it and then incorporate the valve.

Price: Around $4.00 or $7.49 for a two pack

Where to Buy: Walmart, Diapers.com, Amazon, Target

Rating: Excellent
(Definitely Recommend this product)

Sip and Smile

Pros: This is a great basic cup. I love the shape of the spout, small and slender for little mouths. The valve stays in great and the lids are interchangeable with the soft spout cups. Cute designs, dependable cup. They come in a 7 or 9 oz size. The spout is hard, designed for an older baby or toddler. We've had these sip and smiles for over a year and they have held up great.

Cons: Valve may leak after a period of time

Price: $4.00 or $7.99 for a 2 pack

Where to Buy:
Same as above

Rating: Excellent

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nuby Sippy Cups

I hadn't ever heard of the Nuby brand until I was wandering through Walmart looking for cups when Chandler was about 6 months old.  After the Avent cups failed, I noticed that the Nuby cups were very affordable so I decided to give them a go.  Like other cups, Nuby has a trainer cup, a larger one without handles, and a straw cup.

The Gripper Cup

Pros:  This cup has a great contoured design with ridges making it easy for little hands to hold.  It comes in a 10 oz size which holds quite a bit.  I like that there are only 3 parts to this cup.  The silicone top, the screw on cap, and the cup.  The valve is also really convenient as you don't have to take it out to clean it, it is built right into the cup. Inside the spout, there are 3 small slits.  When a child sucks, the slits open causing liquid to flow out, and then close again when the child is done drinking.  These are awesome trainer cups for small babies who don't quite get how to suck with a regular spill proof valve.   The silicone is extremely pliable and is great for babies who are teething.  I also feel it is the closest silicone to a bottle nipple, thus making it easy to transition from a bottle.  

Cons:  Even though this cup doesn't have the "take out" valve, I've had problems with the cup leaking after a while.  Chandler used to chew on the spout thus causing the slits in the valve to tear.  After this, the cup wasn't spill proof anymore.  Also over time the cup will leak when you turn it upside down.  I have noticed you can buy replacement valves, or the silicone tops to these cups separately now.

Price: $3.00 - $4.50 per Cup

Where to Buy: Walmart (in store), Amazon, Nuby Sippy Cup Site

Rating: Great

No Spill Cup with Soft Spout

This cup has the same specifications as the gripper cup with a little bit different design.

Pros:  Easy hold handles.  Same great silicone spout.

Cons:  Cup is extremely wide and lid is hard to put on.  The cup is so round it seems a bit awkward for baby to hold.

Price:  $4.00 - $5.00 per cup

Where to Buy:  Same as above

Rating: Ok

Nuby 12 oz Mega Sipper

This cup is somewhat like the Playtex one that I reviewed in that it is a straw cup.  We used this one for quite a while with Chandler and he loved the straw.

Pros:  Same silicone spout and valve.  Top slides open and shut to  keep straw sanitary.  Easy to clean.

Cons:  Valve deteriorates over time and can rip.  The top doesn't always slide smoothly, at least it didn't on the cup we had.  

Price:  Around $5.00 for one cup

Where to Buy:  Same as above

Rating: Great

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Playtex Sippy Cups

When it comes to sippy cups, Playtex has a lot of options.  There is a stage one with handles, stage two without handles but still in a smaller 6 oz size, stage 3 in a larger size, stage 4 the straw cup and a tumbler as well. I'm mainly going to be focusing on the stage 3 & 4 cups as those are the cups we have had and used.

The Sipster Spill Proof Cup:

Pros:  These all come in a slender design which are great for the stroller or car.  They fit perfectly.  Some of them come with popular Disney designs which are a must have for some toddlers.  They have one that is an insulator to help keep drinks cool longer, and also a cup that you can create your own design.  They are a good basic cup.  

Cons:  The spout is somewhat of a square shape.  Most kids probably don't care  about that, but trying to drink out of it myself, it seems a little awkward.   I'm also not a huge fan of the valves.
 It is a two sided plastic valve which fits into the spout on one side and a random hole on the other sides.  We only used these cups for 3 months and in that time I went through 6 valves between the 2 cups.  After a few weeks of use they would start leaking.  I washed them by hand and mostly let hot water run through them so it seems a bit strange how easily they would start leaking.  And when you are buying valves at $2.50 for a two pack, you might as well just buy a whole new cup.  

Price: $6.00 - $8.00 for a two pack

Where to Buy:  You can buy them singly at a great price on Amazon  I've also seen them at Walmart & Kmart.


The QuickStraw Cup:

Pros:  This is a great cup if your child is having troubles with a sippy cup but will suck out of a straw.  It's still spill proof even though they are sucking out of a straw.  It's very easy to get liquid up out of the straw as well.  The cap on the cup closes over the cup keeping the straw sanitary.  It's also fairly easy to clean as long as you don't liquids like milk sit too long in it.  (Who hasn't done that before and found the cup a month later ;)  )  You can also buy the sport straw cup with an insulator to help keep your drinks cooler longer.  I was pleasantly surprised after many months of use how the liquid still did not spill out.

Cons:  I don't have many complaints about this cup.  However, the straw can get quite grimy looking, especially if you child chooses to chew on the straw often.  

Price:  Around $5.00 per cup

Where to Buy:  Walgreens, Amazon, Walmart


Monday, September 8, 2008

Avent Magic Sippy Cups

With my older son Chandler we used the "trial and error" method when it came to Sippy Cups. I don't even want to calculate how much I've spent on cups for him. We used the Avent Bottles with Chandler after a recommendation from a friend and loved them. I never tried another bottle as Chandler seemed to take right to that one. Naturally, the first sippy cups I decided to buy for Chandler was the Avent Magic Cup - the kind with the handles.

Pros: It was easy to hold on to due to the handles. It also has a silicone spout which is nice for teething. It's a see through cup which makes it easy to view how much liquid is left in the cup. The handles are separate, so you can take them off as your baby gets older.

Cons: The spillproof valve is a plastic ring as shown in the picture to the right.    It is harder than most sippy cups to drink out of, requiring more suck. Yes, I tried it myself after Chandler got frustrated trying to suck out of it. The plastic valve is also hard to get out of the cup if you have wet hands making more work than what it is worth. When you have it apart there are 6 parts to clean, which I think is way too many. (The top lid, spout, valve, handles, outer lid that screws on, and the cup.)
The cup also leaks if you don't screw the top on right. Somewhat like the avent bottles, if you screw it on too tight, it leaks. If it's too loose, it leaks. If you don't get frustrated and find that balance, it doesn't leak at all. (Good luck getting there!) If you notice in the two cup picture, they come with plastic lids. I found these very awkward and hard to put directly on. It is a short wide lid which makes it easy to fumble with.

Price: These run around $7.00-$10.00 for a 2 pack.

Where to Buy: You can get these at most retailers including: ToysRUs and Target

We used the cup without the valve for a while before one melted in the dishwasher. I wasn't too sad to see it go.

RATING: Not So Great

(Make sure you leave a comment to be entered into the sippy cup  giveaway!)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sippy Cup Giveaway

This week I am going to be reviewing different sippy cups. At the end of the week I am going to be giving away a sippy cup of your choice from the ones I reviewed throughout the week. Each time you leave a comment (1 per post) you are entered into the giveaway. There will be 7 different posts for you to comment on. You will also get one additional entry if you link the giveaway to your site or blog, meaning you can have up to 8 entries into the giveaway. (Let me know in the comment section if you have linked the giveaway.) If I have a big response on this, I will select multiple winners. Reviews will start on Monday and end Sunday. Winner/Winners will be chosen on Monday the 15th. Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 5, 2008

BumpyName Orbit Labels

I received these BumpyName Orbit Labels from my friend Sara as a baby gift. I had never seen them before but what an innovative idea. They remind me of the rubber bracelets that everyone wore for a time that were so popular. They are perfect for bottles, sippy cups, travel mugs, and smaller food containers. It seems that they would be ideal for children who go to daycare. We put a label on Rowan's sippy cup about 3 months ago when I first started introducing a cup.

I've never taken it off and have washed it in the dishwasher and put it in the microwave countless times. It hasn't faded or stretched out and is such a cute accessory. It also features Braille which I thought was a cool plus.

You can order them at the Inchbug Site. They do have preprinted labels with some children's names for $8.95 + $4.95 shipping. However, if your child's name is less common, (neither Chandler or Rowan were on there, which are my two boys) you can order custom labels which run $12.95 for 1 line of text or $13.95 for two lines of text, plus shipping costs. I do think the custom labels are a little expensive considering they are like a small rubber bracelet. Overall though, a great product!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gumdrop Pacifier

The hospital that I used to work for and delivered my youngest at had these great pacifiers, the gumdrop.  The gumdrop is similar to the soothie but isn't round and as bulky like the soothie.  It has the same nipple design that a lot of babies prefer but is curved at the top to fit your babies' face.  We tried a few other pacifiers with Rowan (my son) and he still preferred the gumdrop.  I also believe it is breastfeeding friendly as we introduced this pacifier the day he was born and never had any nipple confusion. They also hold up extremely well.  There are a few we've had since birth and although they have dulled and worn they still work great.  I love that it is all one piece and you don't have to worry about individual parts falling off.

It is also an extremely lightweight pacifier and comes in orange, pink and blue for full term babies as well as green for premature babies.  They run around $1.75 per pacifier + shipping but I believe this is a relatively competitive price as you will pay around $4 for a 2 pack of mam or gerber pacifiers in the store.

I have yet to see these pacifiers in retail stores.  I have purchased them from Baby Esscentials and also Hawaii Medical.  They both have great customer service and fast shipping.  Hopefully these will become popular like the soothie and be in retail stores sooner rather than later.

Here is more information about the gumdrops via Hawaii Medical.

* GumDrop has a slightly bigger rim so babies can enjoy it as they grow.
* Completely encapsulated with silicone - soft against baby's face.
* Same great nipple design babies love.
* Single-body construction won’t come apart.
* Modeled after the most commonly used baby bottle nipple and pacifier shapes.
* Meets Consumer Product Safety Commission standards for pacifiers.

Here is also a soothie vs. gumdrop comparison chart.

I am now a HUGE fan of this product and will never use any other pacifier with subsequent children. I'd love to know your thoughts on this pacifier or if you have any questions. Feel free to leave a comment!

RATING:  Excellent

Do you have questions, comments, or concerns?  Contact me here!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Giveaway Winners

Winners of giveaways will be announced here - Please check often to see if you have won a giveaway! I will try to contact winners if contact information is left. Winners then have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Inchworm Shoes

Justin and Ashley McDermott said...
I follow your blog!

APRIL 27, 2009 1:29 PM

Orajel Winners:

1) Dee said...

This would be great! Can you believe that I never used it with my first?? He did really well with teething...but I know many dont and now I have another on the way!

2)jceko77 said...

my fave feature is the easy to squirt tube

3)beth said...

Thank you for a great giveaway! I love how it is almost instant relief for my little ones. Thank you

4)Xenia said...

I've read that often the final week before a tooth surfaces can be the most painful... can you tell that my daughter is nearing that final week? :)


Since 77 and 72 are the same person, I pulled one more number

5) The Bluths said...

Gavin is 13 months and his 2nd tooth is just now starting to pop through. I need this!

All You Magazine - 1 year subscription
K. Cleaver said...
I've bought the magazine a few times and enjoyed it.

My Monkey Moo:
Nad said...
My 2 favorites are rainforest and spring sparrow. Those fabrics are gorgeous! After 2 kids, our stroller is getting a little banged up and stained (even after washing), so I like that this can help re-vamp it and make it look good again!

Vincent Shoes $50 Gift Certificate:
The Bluths said...
I love Vincent shoes, got a pair for Logan awhile ago. I love the Jimmy ones in Blue.

Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets
Sara and Alex said...
I am a HUGE swaddle believer after our birthing class and watching happiest baby on the block. In the "fourth trimester" babies love to be swaddled and IT WORKS!