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Ambassador Baby Hairbrush Review

Forget those cheap, plastic baby hairbrushes with synthetic bristles!  The Ambassador Wooden Baby Hairbrush is a quality hairbrush that has enough charm to become a great keepsake years after baby is grown. 

The features of the Ambassador hairbrush make it easily stand apart from the rest.  The head and handle of the brush are made from a light colored natural wood.  The bristles are boar bristles.  If you have never used a boar-bristled brush before, you need to give it a try!  The bristles are firm but not coarse, and gentle enough to use on baby’s head.  Boar bristles are great for keeping hair looking its best as they help distribute the hair’s natural oils. 

Another great thing about Ambassador, for those environmentally conscious, is that everything in this brush is environmentally friendly.  The wood used in the brush is from non-endangered trees, and the bristles are sheared from the animals like wool is sheared from sheep.  Even the box the brush comes in is made from 100% recycled materials. 

But don’t buy this brush to environmentally friendly!  It’s a great little brush for baby.  It’s the only brush I have used for my son since birth.  The wooden brush is very tough in that it has held up against months of letting him bang it on the floor and chew on it.  I know this brush will last for a lifetime of babies!  And that’s why I’m into the Ambassador Baby Hairbrush!

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This weekend I discovered what may be one of my favorite items for baby: the Dropper Stopper.  For a while now, my mind had been devising a device that could attach from a bottle, sippy cup, or toy onto a high chair or stroller to keep these items from hitting the floor every few minutes.  While shopping at a specialty store over the weekend, I found that someone already had the same idea and had created the Dropper Stopper.  And what an awesome little device it is!

The design is simple:  A fairly short strip of elasticized material with built-in snaps on each end to secure to your items of choice.  The Dropper Stopper may be a simple concept, but the design is well thought out.  The end that attaches to a high chair, stroller, etc has 4 different snaps to make it easy to fit whatever item you’ll be anchoring it to.  The other end forms a “T” at the top of the strap.  This is where you attach the item you don’t want falling on the ground.  This is is more elasticized than the rest of the Dropper Stopper to allow more stretch to fit a variety of items, from pacifiers, to bottles, to stuffed animals.  The inside of this end of the strap also contains a non-slip material to help hold bottles in place. 

I used the Dropper Stopper first during a long day at the mall, and I’m telling you, it is worth it’s weight in gold!  I attached my 10 month old’s sippy cup to the stroller.  My son had easy access to his sippy cup whenever he wanted it, and when he’d drop it, it would simply hang next to the stroller and off of the ground until I picked it up or until he pulled it back in.  I am such a believer in this item I think it should be something on every baby registry! 

We bought the Dropper Stopper at a specialty store for $9.99.  I thought it was a little high priced for a simple piece of material, but the pricing on the website said $13, so now it looks like I may have gotten a deal.  But now after using it, I may even consider buying one for $13.  It is so worth it!  There are a variety of very cute materials to choose from, and for $13 you’ll never have to worry about picking up a dirty sippy cup off the mall floor again!  IntoBaby is very into the Dropper Stopper.  Do yourself a favor and get one…or two for that matter!

What do you think of the Dropper Stopper?

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When registering for baby items before the birth of our son, we totally overlooked the need for an umbrella stroller.  We opted for the big and bulky “travel system” instead, and although that stroller has it’s time and place, an umbrella stroller is almost as much of a necessity.  A traditional stroller is great for offering the most comfort and storage for long outings,  but an umbrella stroller is much more quick and convenient for the smaller and quicker trips.  While on one of these quick excursions, my husband and I decided to pick up an umbrella stroller, specifically the Especially for Kids Umbrella Stroller in Shamrock.

We purchased the stroller at Babies R Us for $29.99, which is in the lower price range for umbrella strollers.  There were a variety of great colors to choose from, including shamrock green, grey, red, chocolate, and even a floral and striped design.  For the price, you get a lot of great features with the stroller.  It folds very easily and compactly and has a built-in handle for carrying.  It also comes with a removable canopy and visor to help protect from the sun.  A small mesh bag hangs in the back to act as storage for a few basic essentials, which is a great option when simply taking a quick trip somewhere.  The handles are gripped and the stroller also has a footrest. 

We have been very pleased with the stroller.  It rides very smoothly and our son, who is over 20 pounds, fits securely and enjoys the ride.  My husband is comfortable pushing the stroller, even though he is relatively tall and the stroller sits lower to the ground compared to our traditional stroller.  It is extremely easy to fold and pack away and has been a great space saver.  On top of all of that, the stroller is very cute and stylish.

The only thing I would change about the stroller is the harness.  It is a 3-point harness, and I would much rather have a 5-point harness for extra security.  Our son hasn’t had any problems staying secure in the stroller, but a 5-point would just give me a little more peace-0f-mind.

Here is the quick breakdown of the pros and cons:

Pros:  Great price, removable canopy, quick and easy folding, carrying handle, storage bag, smooth ride, comfortable handle grips, variety of colors, stylish

Cons:  3-point harness

The Especially for Kids Umbrella Stroller is the perfect little umbrella stroller for the price!  If you don’t have an umbrella stroller yet, or didn’t register for one, you should.  They are a very easy and convenient piece of gear to have for baby.  You won’t regret it!

What’s your thought on umbrella strollers?

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Boon Snack Ball Review

Boon makes an adorable little snack container called the Boon Snack Ball which I recently purchased now that my son is old enough to eat Cheerios and Gerber Puffs.  The Boon Snack Ball is a complete sphere with a small, circular lid at the top that slides to the side to open.  The Boon also unscrews into 2 pieces for adding snacks.  This snack ball is for babies 9 months and up.  It retails for just under $7.

I’ll admit it: I purchased this snack ball based completely off of it’s looks.  It’s the cutest snack container I’ve ever seen!  The design and colors are very modern and unique.   I purchased the orange and blue model (I’m a little partial to these colors…just look at my logo!)  I love having a hard-sided container to carry his snacks in.  I had been using Ziploc bags for his snacks, but of course they get crushed easily when in his diaper bag.  The Boon is also fairly compact in size, which is perfect for throwing in the diaper bag or a purse without taking up a lot of space.  It also easily fits into the cup holder on the stroller, and is easy for little hands to hold.  I would estimate that this snack holder can hold about 1/2 cup of snacks.  Not huge, but perfect for little day trips where you don’t need a lot on hand.  I also like that the lid is attached so it won’t get lost.  You can also rest assured knowing that this snack holder is safe for baby, being that Boon products are completely free of BPA and phthalates.  It is also dishwasher safe.

There are a few things that could be improved on the Boon Snack Ball.  First of all, the price of roughly $7 may seem a high for the size.  Also, the size may be a little small for people with toddlers who are needing something that holds more.  However, I’ve found it to be the perfect size for baby.  It would be great if Boon offered a few different sizes. 

Here is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons:

Pros:  Cute design and colors, hard-sided, attached lid that slides, easy to add snacks, nice size for small hands and compact use, BPA free, dishwasher safe

Cons: Price, may be too small for some uses

Overall, I would say I am into the Boon Snack Ball.  It’s cute and it’s very functional, especially when space is an issue.

What do you think of the Boon Snack Ball?

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Baby BanZ Sunglasses Review and Giveaway

I was recently given the opportunity to review Baby BanZ for myself after writing about infant sunglasses in a previous post.  I received them just in time to try them out on our 9-month old over a long weekend of camping.  So thank you Baby Banz for allowing me to give your product a test run!

Baby BanZ offers a wide variety of sunglasses and other sun products for both babies and kids.  Baby BanZ sunglasses are for ages 0-2, while Kidz BanZ are for ages 2-5.  There are many color and style options to choose from, so you’re sure to find a style and color that is perfect and unique for baby.  Polarized lenses are available, and the lenses can even be swapped out if your child requires prescription lenses.  Baby BanZ sunglasses retail from $17-$19.99. 

The sunglasses arrived via USPS on my front doorstep within a week’s time.  There was no packing material in the box, but the sunglasses were protected in a clear case.  Since the sunglasses are made of shatterproof materials, packing wasn’t really necessary anyways.

The sample I received are the Baby Adventure BanZ in Midnight Black.  Upon inspection, there are a few key things that set these sunglasses apart from other infant sunglasses I have seen.  First of all, the neoprene strap widens at the back of the head which helps keep the glasses in place.  There is also a silicone nose piece built in to the frame which assures a proper, comfortable fit.  The adjuster on these sunglasses also make this product unique.  Instead of the Velcro adjuster being located in the back, it is located on the side.  The Velcro strap loops through the frame and folds back upon itself, which is a great design for getting the perfect fit on baby’s head.  This type of strap also makes it difficult for baby to undo the Velcro and pull the glasses off, which I’ve found to be a critical flaw in my iplay sunglasses.  The frames are clear, though colored, polycarbonate and the lenses offer 100% UV protection. 

Now for the real test: wearability!  We couldn’t have received these sunglasses with any better timing, having planned an extended weekend of camping.  We were outdoors and in the sun for several days, so the sunglasses got a lot of testing right from the start.  My son has always been “top of the charts” for his age, so I was afraid the frames might be too narrow for his face.  However, I found the frames to fit very well; not too small and not too big.  The location and design of the Velcro adjuster made getting the perfect fit so much easier than other baby sunglasses I’ve tried.  And the wide neoprene band kept them on his face no matter what we did, even after putting his hat on and off throughout the day.  They seemed to be comfortable for him to wear.  There was very minimal grabbing at them.  And on top of being wearable, they are fashionable!  We got so many compliments from other impressed campers!  I was overall very happy using the Baby BanZ, and my son seemed to feel the same way.

There are only a few things I would change about the Baby BanZ.  First of all, the price tag is higher than any other infant sunglasses I’ve seen.  However, you do get what you pay for!  These sunglasses are well worth it if you intend to get good use of them in the sun.  I would like to see the frames come in solid colors versus being clear.  This is strictly a cosmetic thing, I know, but I think solid colors look better and are more vibrant.  Another problem I had was I found scratches on the lens after only a few days of use.  As with any baby item, wear and tear is going to happen, especially on something like sunglasses.  I just didn’t expect to see scratches so soon.  One last thing I noticed was that the silicone nose and brow bridge left indents on my son’s face after use.  This is definitely not a safety hazard, but it did make me wonder if they were uncomfortable.   It is a possibility, however, that I simply needed to loosen the Velcro.

With that said, one of the things that impressed me the most about Baby BanZ is the warranty.  Each pair of sunglasses is backed by a 6 month warranty for any defect in the materials or workmanship.  Scratches are not covered by the warranty. 

Here is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of Baby BanZ sunglasses:

Pros:  100% UV protection, shatter-proof, wide-banded neoprene strap and silicone nose bridge keep glasses in place, convenient side Velcro adjuster, 6 month warranty, fashionable, many styles and colors, can be used with prescription lenses

Cons:  Price, leaves lines on face

Baby BanZ have officially become my sunglasses of choice for my son.  They are by far the best I have used, and I would say they are definitely worth the money.  IntoBaby is into Baby BanZ!

******NOW IS YOUR CHANCE TO WIN YOUR OWN BABY BANZ!******

Baby BanZ is giving away one free pair of sunglasses in the color of your choice!  Enter the giveaway now by doing the following:

  • Required:  Leave a comment including your favorite Baby BanZ style, size, and color- Can be viewed here
  • Earn 1 extra entry:  Subscribe to my RSS feed and let me know in a separate comment
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  • Earn 1 extra entry:  Tweet about this giveaway and leave the URL in a separate comment
  • Earn 1 extra entry:  Share this giveaway on facebook and let me know in a separate comment
  • Earn 2 extra entries:  Write a post on your blog linking to this page and to the Baby BanZ website and post the URL in the comments

CONTEST RULES:

  • All entries must be submitted by midnight on June 15th, 2010.  No late entries will be accepted.
  • Winner will be chosen at random using the generator at Random.org
  • Winner will be contacted via email the morning of June 16th, 2010
  • Winner must respond within 48 hours or the prize will be forfeited
  • This contest is open to U.S. residents only

Come back and visit us again soon at IntoBaby!

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Evenflo Classic Fast Flow Nipple Review

After purchasing the Evenflo Comfi Fast-Flow nipples for my glass Evenflo bottles and being very disappointed, I decided to count my losses and stick with the classic Evenflo nipples instead.  Since I never had any problems with the classic slow-flow nipples, I figured I could upgrade to the classic fast-flow and not have any problems.  I was so confident that I purchased five 4-packs at $2.49 a piece. 

Big mistake!  Although the shape of the nipple is the same classic design, I absolutely despise this nipple!  Instead of having a simple hole at the top, the fast-flow nipple has a large “X” cut into the silicone.  This nipple is supposed to be for babies 6 months and older.  However, it makes my 9 month old choke.  I figured he just needed to get used to the different flow, but he would scream at the top of his lungs every time I tried to feed him using this nipple. 

Another problem I had when using the fast-flow nipple was leaking.  For some reason, no matter how tight or loose I made the collar, milk came pouring out from underneath.  I never had this problem with the slow-flow nipples and since the nipples have the same design I’m not exactly sure what the cause was.  I just know that this was enough reason for me to abandon the fast-flow and return to using the slow-flow.  The slow-flow nipples take longer for my son to finish an 8-ounce bottle, but he eats happily and his shirt doesn’t get soaked in the process. 

So with that said, I wouldn’t waste money on the Evenflo Classic Fast-Flow Nipples!  I have 3 unopened packages.  If you have had better luck with them, or would like to give them a try, leave a comment or contact me.

In the meantime, I’m still searching for a fast-flow nipple that works well with the Evenflo glass bottles.

What nipples do you find to work well with the Evenflo Classic Glass Nursers?

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Who can resist a baby wearing sunglasses?  Not only are they outrageously cute, they are practical in that they protect sensitive little eyes from the bright sunlight.  We recently purchased the iplay Infant Sunglasses in navy blue for our son.  The sunglasses come with a flexible, wrap-around band and flexible frames to help insure a comfortable fit for baby.  The band velcros in the back to help adjust to the size of baby’s head.  The shaded lenses are 100% UVA and UVB protective.  The iplay sunglasses retail for $8.99 and come in a wide variety of colors.

There are a lot of positive things about the iplay sunglasses.  First of all, the frames are a good fit for baby’s face.  They aren’t too small or too big.  The bridge of the nose fits comfortably and they hug the face comfortably.  The neoprene strap is soft and the velcro makes the sizing easy to adjust.  The overall design is great for either a boy or girl.  The first time my son wore these sunglasses, I thought he would  be bothered by them and try to pull them off.  However, they seemed to fit him comfortably and he wears them with no protest.  He loves wearing them and I love the fact that his eyes are protected from the bright sun and UV rays.  And on top of all of this, the price was great!

The one thing I wish was different about this sunglasses is the location of the velcro.  Although it functions fine, I would rather have a design more like the Baby Banz sunglasses where the adjustable velcro is located on the side versus the back.  This side adjuster also folds on itself so it keeps any exposed velcro from scratching baby’s head.  I also believe this design would make it easier to adjust when the glasses are being worn.  I also like how the Baby Banz sunglasses have a wider strap at the back of the head to help keep the strap from slipping as easily.  Due to these factors, I believe Baby Banz might be a better choice than the iplay Infant Sunglasses, and if I could go back I would probably purchase them instead.  However, Baby Banz are about twice as expensive as the iplay.

In considering all of these factors, I believe the iplay Infant Sunglasses are a great product and would recommend them.  They are a good fit, comfortable, and a more economical choice.  However, if you are wiling to spend a little more, I believe that the Baby Banz sunglasses are probably the best overall choice for infant sunglasses.

What baby sunglasses do you find to be the best?  Why?

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With the addition of our newCroozer 535 bike trailer, we had to buy an infant bike helmet for our son.  Soon after starting our search, I discovered that there really aren’t a lot of infant sized bike helmets out there to choose from.  We ended up going to a local bike shop and finding one helmet that fit our needs; the Specialized Small Fry Toddler Helmet.

This helmet is specifically meant to be used for ages 0-3 years, but I still wasn’t sure if a bike helmet would really fit an infant.  We originally were going to purchase a helmet online, but am glad we found one in store to assure a good, safe fit.  There were a few different models and designs to choose from, but we found the Specialized helmet to be the most comfortable fit for our son.  The purchase price was kind of steep at $39.99, but the helmet should last him a few years.

The main thing that sold me on this helmet is the dial-operated fit system.  The size of the helmet can easily be adjusted to fit as your child grows with a simple turn of a dial.  This feature gave this particular helmet the best fit over the others.  The helmet also comes with extra foam inserts to line the helmet for even younger infants.  However, I have not had to use these with my 8 month old as the helmet fits perfectly without. 

The helmet also has built-in mesh in the vents to keep bugs from flying in during a ride.  The chin strap is easily adjustable and comfortable.  The helmet also has a built-in visor to protect little eyes from the sun, as well as a shape that makes it suitable to wear in a bike trailer.  All of these things combined make it a great helmet.  However, the thing I love the most is the design.  The particular helmet we bought is called “Moto Red”, which is a bright red helmet with kids riding on dirt bikes.  A lot of the other infant helmets I saw were too “baby-ish”, which is fine, but in the long run I want a helmet that my 3 year old will want to wear.  The Small Fry Moto helmet comes in red, blue, green or yellow.  Specialized also makes infant helmets that are designed more for girls, with kitten and lady bug designs.

The only thing I don’t like about the helmet was the price.  This particular helmet was the highest priced infant helmet I had seen at $39.99.  However, I think it’s design and longevity make it worth the price.

Specialized makes a great infant helmet!  Make sure you consider it when choosing a bike helmet for your little one!

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Evenflo Purely Comfi Nipple Review

I finally upgraded the nipples for my son’s glass Evenflo bottles to fast flow.  I ended up purchasing the Evenflo Purely Comfi bottle nipples because Target didn’t have the traditional ones available at the time.  I knew the Comfi nipples would fit the standard sized necks on the glass bottles so I didn’t hesitate in buying them.  They were $1.99 for a 2-pack at Target. 

At first glance, the nipples look much nicer than the standard ones that came with the glass bottles.  They are rounded and more full at the base, which is supposed to be more conducive with breast feeding.  Plus, they just look “cute”.  They have the same type of venting system as the standard nipples as well, although the BPA-free silicone is thicker. 

I didn’t forsee having a problem using these nipples with the bottles, especially being that they are both made by Evenflo.  However, so far they haven’t worked the same.  My son latches on with no problem, and the flow rate is much better.  It doesn’t drown him or anything.  But I just can’t get the nipples to vent the same as the standard, which I never had any problem with.  I think the problem lies in the thicker silicone.  I have to loosen the collar a lot in order to get enough air to flow through to keep the nipple from collapsing.  Sometimes I loosen it so much it the bottle starts to leak.  I never had a problem with the standard nipples. 

So yes, the Comfi nipples are very finicky in comparison to the standard nipples, and I am probably just going to cut my losses and buy some fast-flow standard nipples online. 

Has anyone had a good or bad experience with Evenflo’s Comfi bottle nipples?

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I got my Mother’s Day present early this year!  It’s the Croozer 535 3-in-1 bike trailer,(Edit: This is a comparable model ) and I love it!  After doing A LOT of research online trying to find the most economical, yet good quality bike trailer, I decided on this one.  What sets the Croozer above the rest is it’s versatility, with the ability to go from a bike trailer, to a jogging stroller, to a stroller with a simple change of hook-ups, which are all included at a reasonable price of $450.  If you’re having sticker shock, do your research and you’ll find this is a fabulous deal for what you get.  Most bike trailers of this quality start at $500 and up, plus you have to buy the attachments for the stroller functions separately.

So what are my favorite features of the Croozer?  Well, there are many!  Like I said, the thing that sold me on it was the fact that it included not only the bike trailer function, but the fixed wheel jogging stroller, as well as a small swivel wheel for a regular stroller.  It is also extremely easy to change the wheels and attachments.  They simply pop into place and insert the pin, and it’s ready to go!  The 535 also has two bucket seats, which was a huge advantage to the Croozer.  Most bike trailers have a bench seat, and most reviews I read complained of children sinking in towards to middle during the ride and not having their own space.  The bucket seats solve that problem.  Also, the bucket seat makes it a very comfortable ride for my 8 month old son.  He is held securely having 2 sides next to him while he rides.  The Croozer also has a 5-point harness with padded seatbelt covers so it is great for younger children to have a comfortable and secure ride.  The Croozer is also very easy to break down and folds fairly flat, making it suitable to fit into the trunk of a car.  But even though it is very portable, it doesn’t skimp on size.  The Croozer 535 can not only tow 2 young children, but it also has a fairly large covered storage space in the back to easily stow a diaper bag, water, or a few bags of groceries.  The material of the cruiser is heavy duty and high quality canvas.  The sides windows are made up of heavy plastic, as well as a removable weather shield that can cover the front screen if it starts to rain.  The Croozer also rides low to the ground, which makes it an easier pull and safer for the kids in tow.  It weighs 36 pounds with the removable handle.  It pulls very smoothly with a bike, and the stroller function is great to use as well.

There aren’t a lot of things I dislike about the Croozer 535.  I still think the cost is a little steep at $450, but considering the options you get and comparing it to the competition, it is really a deal for the quality and versatility.  Another negative is that the stroller handle is not adjustable.  Luckily, at my height of 5’5”, it’s perfect.  But it is a little low for my husband who is about 6′ tall.  The Croozer also does not have any shocks, so it is definitely meant for smoother trails.  One more thing is that the instructions aren’t the most clear that come with the trailer.

Here is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of the Croozer 535:

Pros:  Versatility, easy to adjust, bucket seats, padded 5-point harnesses, low profile, portability, large storage area, heavy duty materials, built-in weather shield, pulls well behind a bike, stylish

Cons:  Non-adjustable stroller handle, no shocks, poor instructions

Overall, I believe the Croozer 535  (Edit: This is a comparable Model – Burely Kids Honey Bee Trailor)will give you the most bang for your buck in the world of bike trailers.  We are definitely into our Croozer!

What features are important to you in a bike trailer?  What do you think about the Croozer?

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