All you really need to raise a baby is a boob and an arm.. maybe some rocks and dirt.. but if you live in 2013, you most likely have a litany of products, gadgets, toys, and accoutrement you can’t live without. Even in the last 10 months since the last GGA baby has been born new and improved items come out on the daily. It’s our job to test and try all of it and choose the cutest, smartest, and greenest goodies so you don’t waste a dime.
Here are our new crushes that really make our lives slightly easier OR cuter;
If you’re like us, you’d prefer your kid didn’t stare at Caillou the entire road trip blasting from a back of the headrest TV. Here’s a more pleasing, peaceful, sensory option. The Brica Baby In-Sight® Magical Firefly Auto Mirror makes us so relaxed, we could fall asleep ourselves listening to the spa sounds from this darling contraption. Choose the entertaining mode and your baby is introduced to shapes as patterns of light dance behind the mirror in time to the lively songs. Long day and a tired baby? Switch to soothing mode and let your child drift off to sleep as relaxing music plays and the lights softly twinkle as they fade in and out. Crash-tested and simple to install, this magical mirror provides entertainment for baby and peace of mind for you—no matter where your day takes you.
Also from Brica the Phone pod is a total must have. It’s a phone holder that attaches to your stroller. So you can stroll and text. Or nurse and sit in the park and read the New York Times blog. Easily check off your grocery list, track your miles on a jog with your little one, or listen to music at the park. You can even keep the kiddo entertained with a game or movie—without the risk of your phone skidding across the pavement. The Quick-Attach™ clamp attaches securely just about anywhere and rotates for a portrait or landscape view. You’ll wonder what you ever did without it! The Brica Phone Pod doesn’t unfortunately work well with the newest iphone, but the older iphones (and all the other phone models we tested) work beautifully with it. If you have the newest iphone, you are better off with the Texthook.
Running around with a sleepy newborn, we always used to just toss Aden and Anais swaddles over the baby in the carrier or car seat when s/he slept, now you have a much better option. The Infant Car Seat Comfort Canopy gives your baby a cool, shady hideaway on your picnics or trips to the park with this retractable cover for your infant car seat. The breathable mesh lets the fresh air in while keeping out bugs, wind, and germs from overly friendly strangers. A retractable rain and sun cover blocks over 98% of damaging UVA/UVB rays and can be tucked away in a zippered pocket when not in use.
Ok, maybe Shwings aren’t a must, but they are the cutest thing to ever update our kids tired ole sneakers. They can either lace up, clip on, or be velcroed on to sneaks of any kind of any size. They come in a billion colors, styles, and vibes – and are all vegan! They are just adorable and cool times twenty. What makes them eco friendly is that you will buy less shoes, since you can update your kicks on the daily if you wanted to!
And here’s a cute video about Shwings;
Peaceable Kingdom cooperative games are amazing. Everyone plays together, no one is left out, and everyone has fun! Traditional games tend to have one winner and one (or many) losers! In a cooperative game, the players work as a team against a common obstacle, not against each other. Cooperative games emphasize play, not competition. Kids learn to work and play together in respectful and compassionate ways. They learn to share, make decisions together, and trust one another. Cooperative games encourage inclusion and build confidence. Cooperative games are great for kids of all ages (as well as the adults in their life). Contrary to popular belief, kids don’t beat a cooperative game every time, so even if kids lose to the game, they lose as a team. There’s always a reason to keep working, thinking and playing together to win as a team! Nobody wins, but everyone is a winner. These games are made from sustainable materials, such as recycled papers, soy-based inks, and corn-based plastics.
Learn more about cooperative games here;
Doodlepants are the cutest baby pants we’ve ever seen. Little ones (newborn to 3T) can squiggle and wiggle with ease thanks to a roomy seat, stretchy ribbed cuffs and a comfortable elastic waistband. They’re made with thick, flexible material that holds up and is easy to wash, basically leggings for littles. The patterns are the most adorable ever – piles of precious with My Little Pony’s and Foxes and Cars and everything under the sun. These pants remind us of the Japanese kids brands we crave without the absurd price tags (these run $24 – though often you can find them on sale!) Buy them at Doodlepants.com. Obsessed.
Finally, a doll we’d want our daughters to play with. The New Zeenie™ Dollz Series are an eco-friendly doll series made of recyclable, non-toxic materials is the latest and greatest eco-friendly toy for young girls. The dolls are fashionistas, donning the latest in groundbreaking style, but the Zeenies stand for much more. Each doll’s personal style and background story also brings to light an environmental cause that needs our attention, such as pollution, animal rights, global warming and deforestation. The Zeenies are a great toy, offering a unique educational and environmentally friendly twist to play! In addition to the dollz, which are just larger than a standard Barbie and have 12 ball joints for optimal mobility, packages include a brush, doll stand and a small stuffed animal that’s in line with the cause that doll represents.
Tere’s Kids is a small woman owned company that make the comfiest kids and baby organic clothes – super super soft – but moreso adorably styled so they aren’t cutesy, but more inline with grown up streamlined style.
Potty training just got a lot easier with WearEver’s bed liners. Plus you can get them in cute colors. The quilted top cloth looks like an extra throw on the bed. The large 34×36 dimensions and waterproof backing will protect your furniture or bed from potty training accidents. The material is an 80% cotton outer layer with a 20% Unique-Dri™ inner core and it can be machine washed/dried over 200 times. Originally made for the incontinent, we find these pads to be much easier to clean then the annoying plastic covers your mattress store sells you which are a real pain in the ass to pull on and off. This simply slips under the kids tuchus.. no muss, no fuss.
Cleaning waterproof bathing suits, sports uniforms, running clothing, yoga gear just got a lot easier with Basewash from Nikwax. Laundering with Nikwax in place of detergent is a gentle, green, and effective way to clean, protect, and prolong the life of most athletic wear, outdoor clothing, and even footwear (buh bye stinky sneaks!) Nikwax is 100% waterbased and biodegradable and does not contain fluorocarbons/VOCs, which means it is safe for your family, your washer and the environment. Basewash is created specially for cleaning synthetic base-layers. It enhances the fabric’s wicking properties, stopping them from stinking and helping them dry more quickly. Another great product to consider for outdoorsy types is Tech Wash. This is a wash-in cleaner for waterproof clothing and equipment that safely revitalizes breathability and water-repellency. This product is a non-detergent soap that can be used regularly to clean clothing and equipment without damaging the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coatings. Use this product instead of detergent or washing powder for jackets, tents, backpacks, awnings, and camera bags. After washing with tech wash you can waterproof with Tent and Gear Solarproof to maintain water repellency and protect against UV degradation. One application can double the effective life of gear!
Maybe it’s not the best idea to give a little one kombucha to get their probiotics (though our little guys like to take sips of “Mommy’s soda”) – in it’s stead, Sunbiotics Just 4 Kids introduced a potent probiotic powder enhanced with organic apple and yacon – renowned for its prebiotic properties that you and your kids will love. Yacon contains naturally occurring nutrients known as fructooligosaccharides that stimulate the growth and activity of probiotics (beneficial bacteria). In addition to potent superfoods, each serving of Sunbiotics boasts 5 billion CFUs of 5 well researched stable probiotic strains. Sunbiotics may help restore a proper balance of flora in the digestive system depleted by stress, antibiotics, and gastrointestinal disturbances.