1. BABYBJÖRN Organic Comfort Carrier
My favorite, must have item during my children’s infancy was my BABYBJÖRN carrier. I found it essential for baby wearing, and I liked how secure my child felt close to my body. I tried out various slings and wraps, but I always was concerned I didn’t quite have my baby in the right position. Considering the concern the mainstream media has expressed for baby slings, perhaps my mommy instincts were right, or maybe, I just didn’t know how to use them properly.
Even though I loved my original BABYBJÖRN carrier, after about an hour, I would feel a pinch in my back. BABYBJÖRN has corrected this problem by creating a more ergonomic padded carrier designed for longer stints of baby wearing larger babes, and it is organic!
The Comfort Carrier features an adjustable, ergonomic waist belt that distributes the childs weight to the wearers hips, so parents can carry older and heavier children more comfortably. Because the baby carrier can be used with children up to the age of 2, parents can enjoy the infant-parent bonding and hands-free mobility benefits of babywearing longer…
The Comfort Carrier is made from organically grown cotton, which meets the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the most recognized international organic standard. Additionally, all BabyBjörn fabrics that come into contact with babys skin are Class-1 Oeko-Tex certified. This rigorous certification means that they are guaranteed harmless to childrens sensitive skin and will not trigger allergies.
Just as with slings, concern has been expressed about upright carrier style baby wearing devices. Pediatricians were involved in developing the new comfort carrier, but I think caution should be used with any form of baby wearing and time should be limited. Furthermore, the comfort carrier is designed for older infants (three months), which I think lessens the risks.
Would I buy this product? Yes. I never left home without my BABYBJÖRN during my baby wearing years. Neither of my children had any negative physical effects as a result, and they were happy babies because they were always close to mom. I was a happy mom who could do things with ease while my babes were snuggly close to my body and my arms were free. I’ve also heard crunchy moms criticize BABYBJÖRN as too mainstream. I’m not really sure the point or basis for such criticism.
2. New Wave Enviro Stainless Steel Water Bottle (12-Ounces)
You can never have too many stainless steel water bottles! Given the concerns with plastic, stainless steel is a good option to keep your family hydrated. In fact, before plastic water bottles, canteens were made from metal.
Go green and protect your health with the compact, reusable, and virtually indestructible New Wave Enviro Stainless Steel Water Bottle. This 12-ounce stainless steel bottle allows you to transport water and other beverages without using wasteful, disposable products or exposing yourself to the harmful chemicals present in many plastic containers. Made with food grade #304 stainless steel, the Enviro water bottle has a 12-ounce capacity, perfect for kids or for carrying in small bags and drink holders. The Enviro bottle has a secure screw-top lid with a sports top made of non-leaching polypropylene for ease of use. The high-quality stainless steel cools quickly, and it is sanitary and non-leaching for use with any beverage. The bottle is dishwasher safe.
Would I buy this product? Yes. I think $9 is an affordable price. Of course, it is made in China, but that seems to be the only option when it comes to stainless steel water bottles.
3. Nattie’s Naturals Play Cosmetics
If you have a little girl, there will come a time when she wants to dress up in makeup. In our home, since I don’t wear cosmetics, it happened when grandma visited. Rather than use commercial makeups that may contain harmful ingredients, natural cosmetics are a better choice. We purchased expensive natural makeup when my daughter needed it for a dance performance; however, I am not a fan of play make-up. I just don’t see the need.
If you are going to let your child play with cosmetics, Nattie’s Naturals is a good choice.
Nattie’s Naturals was created by a mother of two young girls who was looking for a safe and natural alternative to existing cosmetics targeted at kids, most of which contain parabens, lead, and other artificial ingredients. Her kids wanted something they could use for playing dress-up, protecting their lips from winter weather, and providing bath-time fun. To her surprise, there was nothing out there, so she decided to create it herself. So, the chef and part-time chemist in her did plenty of research, went to work the kitchen and created an exciting array of products.
Nattie’s Naturals doesn’t just make organic kids’ cosmetics, but they also make bath products and lip balm with organically-grown ingredients.
Would I buy these products? Probably not. I think the lip balm is very affordable at $3, but lip balm is the kind of thing I will buy locally and not purchase off the internet. The glitter shades cost about $7, and definitely are popular with little girls, but it really boils down to your own parenting philosophy on children playing with makeup.
4. Buggies Bug Protection Clothing for Infants and Toddlers
Last week, we reviewed insect shield apparel and raised concern about the manmade permethrin it contained. Buggie’s makes insect apparel for kids:
Buggies with Insect ShieldTM are durable, soft and comfortable. They help ward off insects with a man-made version of a natural repellent found in flowers such as the African Daisy.
- EPA-registered, odorless Insect Shield Repellent Gear repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and midges
- Insect Shield requires no re-application and cannot be swallowed; it’s not harmful to the eyes or skin and is EPA-approved for infants and pregnant/nursing women
- Insect Shield is effective through 70 washes
- Soy Genius fabric blends organic cotton, soy and spandex for a luxurious feel
- Buggies also help protect your child from the sun’s harsh rays with UPF 30 protection
I do like that these products are made from organic cotton and provide UPF protection. I also think it is important to protect children from insects, and it is probably safer to have the repellant on their clothing rather than their skin. I think this would be especially import for infants, who absorb more chemicals through their skin than older children.
Would I buy this product? Maybe. The sweatshirt costs $34, which I think is sort of expensive, but it is cute. We are fortunate to live in a place where insects are not a huge problem, so I don’t have much of a need; however, if I was planning a camping trip or a vacation to a place where mosquitoes and ticks were rampant, than I would seriously consider protecting my child with Buggies Clothing. The safety of the permethrin versus applying essential oils to their skin is something I wish I knew more about.
5. Haba Ball Track Construction Set
This has to be one of the coolest green toys! Made from untreated birch wood, the Haba ball track features 42 pieces that inspire kids to explore gravity, spatial relationships, and cause and effect. It even includes a little bell!
Fling the doors to your child’s minds eye open wide with a pile of Haba blocks, a handful of colorful marbles, and a plethora of sleek, sliding, gliding, ringing, bouncing, jumping accessories to choose from…your child’s mind takes in a spectacular view! Comes with 42 natural beech wood pieces and 6 glass marbles. Ages 3+. The smallest square block is 4cm x 4cm x 4cm.
Made in Germany, Haba is a company I truly trust! This marble track toy has provided countless hours of fun and creative play in my home.
Would I buy this product? Yes. $80 is a lot of money for a toy, but the quality and safety of the untreated beech wood make it worth it in my opinion. I’d rather spend a lot of money on a few quality, open-ended green toys than have a household full of cheap, plastic junky toys. This marble track will grow with my children for many years and probably will remain in our home for the eventual grandchildren. It’s worth the investment. There are very few toys I get this excited about!
Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples, unless noted differently in the review. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.
The criticism from educated babywearing moms of the baby bjorn carrier has nothing to do with how mainstream and everything to do with the position in which the baby is worn. Safe babywearing includes keeping a child in a seated position (knees above bottom) so as to not put all the pressure on the crotch and spine. The dangling position of a baby bjorn and other like carriers has been linked to hip dysplasia. I am on my phone so I don’t have links right now but hopefully someone else will respond. Better carriers if you like the buckles and system of a soft structured carrier include http://www.ergobabycarrier.com, becobabycarrier.com, and http://www.angelpack.com among many others.
Jennifer Lance says
I did include a link in the post that referenced the position, but I have read other moms just react to babybjorn because it is more mainstream. The ergo carrier holds the baby in the same position as this comfort carrier. I think BabyBjorn addressed some of the concerns in this new design, but again, I have not read any actual reports of injury as a result of this style carrier (that doesn’t mean they don’t exist). Of course, there have been deaths with improper use of slings. I have read there is a lot more concern about what Johnny Jump Ups do orthopedically to babies. Basically, it is about using the right device at the right age or ability of your child. This BabyBjorn is for three months, when a child is much stronger.
I see your link now, yes. But in that picture of the bjorn the baby is not supported in a seated position (with knees even or above bottom) but dangling from his crotch. The carriers I list all provide a seated position (knees even or above bottom). And it is certainly a concern with jumpers and exersaucer but at least in those some weight is on the feet and they are not dangling in the same way.
Ok, I am not a big fan of the Baby Björn either and not because it´s too mainstream (what a dumb reason anyway). The new one is definitely better than the older models but to be honest I think $169 is way too much for a baby carrier. You can get the Ergocarrier for much less and they have been providing the proper position from the first model on. They also have organic carriers in their sortiment.
I do love the Haba ball track though. We saw it in a store in Germany in May and my son would have played with it all day. It´s very sturdy and well made for many hours of fun!
Jennifer Lance says
@Gerti I agree it is expensive and I think my loyalties lie with my nostalgia for carrying my children in a baby bjorn before the days of the ergo. If I was pregnant today, I’d most likely go with the ergo. It’s what I bought for my sister 🙂
Jennifer Lance says
@Jamie, you are right about the photo. I haven’t seen anyone use the ergo without the legs dangling either. I did more reading on the orthopedic stuff, and many docs have refuted the claims. As with anything, you have to go with your mommy instincts and your doctor’s recommendations!
I think it is mostly a problem for kid that already have hip dysplasia.
Jennifer Lance says
Here’s another interesting link:
Tom Peck says
I dont see what the big deal is if it works fine they all pretty much seem the same to me?