1. Blue Manatee Eco Box
Blue Manatee Boxes combines children’s inspiration from a simple cardboard box with themed literacy. We have all experienced the creativity of children as the box a gift has come in becomes more exciting and longer sustaining of play than the actual toy it contained. Blue Manatee makes the box and its packaging an essential part of the experience.
We were sent an Eco Box to review:
When they’re not busy hugging pets or boxes, young kids are tree huggers, enchanted by the natural world. Nurture the next generation of naturalists with books celebrating the backyard and beyond.
Our box featured three great board books:
- [amazon_link id=”B003ZPGV5A” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Eco Babies Wear Green[/amazon_link]
- [amazon_link id=”1934429074″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]ABCs by Charlie Harper[/amazon_link]
- [amazon_link id=”0763648027″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]I Like Bugs[/amazon_link]
I love how Manatee Boxes inspires imagination, including the composting peanuts that are part of the packaging. These peanuts can be turned into little people or great science experiments. You can also create your own box if you don’t want to select one of the ready-made themes.
Would I buy this product? Maybe. Although I love the concept behind Blue Manatee, I feel the price is a little expensive. The three board books would total about $21. When added to shipping and packaging costs, the $30 Blue Manatee price is reasonable, but that’s why I would look for these books in a used bookstore or a local shop. We have no shortages of cardboard boxes around my home, and I don’t need a company to remind me of the joy of playing with one. My children do that naturally.
2. Bebe au Lait Hooter Hiders Nursing Cover
Most women who feel the need to cover themselves and baby while breastfeeding simply use a receiving blanket. Hooter Hiders makes chic nursing covers that stay in place when your little babe wiggles. Additionally, there is a pocket.
- 100% Cotton
- External Pocket with ruffle detail on top
- Rigid Neckline allows for ventilation and direct eye contact with baby.
- Adjustable D-ring neck strap
- Patented stiffening system in the neckline also prevents fabric abrasion, making it the safest nursing cover on the market.
The Hooter Hider is now available in quatrefoil pattern.
Quatrefoil is named for its unique shape, the classic form is a representation of a four leaf clover and is said to be a good luck charm. Offered in a simple, yet striking white and black color palette, this cover is versatile and gender neutral.
Would I buy this product? No. I am biased about nursing covers. I never used one. I have seen mother and child sweltering in summer heat just to cover up, although the Hooter Hider is lightweight cotton and would be better than a blanket. I feel mothers should not feel the need to cover up for society. That being said, I have seen young mothers in my community (former students of mine), that I would not have thought would have breastfed to begin with and covering up made them feel comfortable. Better to cover up than to not nurse at all!
I would also prefer this nursing cover be made from organic cotton fabric. Bebe au Lait does feature Simple Organic nursing covers.
3. Yummi Bears Organics
Sometimes getting your child to take their vitamins is challenging, but kids love Yummi Bears. These gummy bear vitamins do resemble candy, so you need to keep them out of reach of children. They do have childproof lids, but my six-year-old knows how to open these kind of lids already.
We were sent the following vitamins:
Yummi Bears Organics Immunity Shield:
Yummi Bears Organics Immunity Shield naturally supports and nourishes your child’s immune system. Our unique blend of nutrients contains the perfect amount of herbs and vitamins to boost your children’s defenses and keep them healthy all year long. Immunity Shield is specially formulated for your child so that it is Allergen-Free, Gluten-Free, Casein Free, has No Artificial Colors or Flavors and does not contain Gelatin which makes it perfect for those who enjoy a vegetarian lifestyle.
Yummi Bears Organics Bone Builder:
Yummi Bears Organics Bone Builder is expertly blended to give your child the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain strong bones, healthy teeth and gums.
Yummi Bears Organics Brain Booster
Yummi Bears Organics Brain Booster formulation contains our proprietary blend of ingredients that supports your child’s healthy brain function, vision and supports a strong immune system.
Organic Multi-Vitamin and Mineral
Multi-Vitamin and Mineral has 16 essential vitamins and minerals that contain the proper amount of nutrients important for your children’s growth and development.
Would I buy this product? Yes. Although it is best to get our vitamins and minerals from whole foods, it’s hard to be sure my children are getting all they need from our vegetarian diet, especially my picky eater son. Vitamins give me some peace of mind nutritionally. I am pleased to see these vitamins are now available in an organic version.
4. The Adventures of Bella and Harry: Let’s Visit Paris!
If you are planning a trip with your children to Paris, this picture book could be useful. Told from the point of view of two Chihuahuas, little bits of information about Paris and its culture are interwoven with the story.
The Adventures of Bella and Harry is a picture book series that chronicles the escapades of a pup named Bella, her little brother Harry and their family, who travel the world exploring the sights and sounds of new, exciting cities. Traveling the world with these two cute and cuddly Chihuahuas will allow the young reader to gain an appreciation of the world and its’ cultural diversity. The “Bella and Harry” series is intended to be an informative, interactive and exciting way to introduce children to travel, different countries, customs, history and landmarks. The series was created to encourage exploration of locations both domestically and internationally.
I find this book a bit awkward, although I do like the illustrations. My daughter called it “weird”, but I do think it would be valuable to prepare a young child for a trip to the City of Light.
Would I buy this book? No. I am pretty particular about children’s books.
5. B. Onesie
We have previously reviewed B. Toys, although not too favorably. We were recently sent a B. onesie.
I do like the B. quotes, but I think that they should actually use proper grammar with the word “Be” instead of just the capital letter. I think that children need good language and literacy models, and being cute with language like that (such as reversing the R in a major toy store chain) is for adults, not kids.
Would I buy this product? No. I can’t find it on their website, so I don’t know the price. I do not like B. toys, and this onesie is not organic. Furthermore, it is made in China.
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.
I appreciate the honesty of your reviews! You clearly have nothing to lose by giving your unbiased opinion of these products, and I appreciate that. Consumers, i.e. moms shopping for children, should take a more critical look at things to avoid falling for gimmicks or money-makers that serve no real beneficial purpose. The joy of book buying is perusing the shelves, flipping the pages, and snagging the right one at the library, or perhaps Half Price books. Imagine how many books $21 should buy for one’s children!
I just wanted to comment that, while the vitamins being organic is great, I think it’s more important that the vitamin is complete, if you are going give your child any to supplement what they get from food. Unfortunately, none of the Yummi Bears line of children’s vitamins could be considered complete, as key vitamins such as some of the B vitamns, are left out. The only brands I’ve found that contain all the B vitamins are Dr. Greene’s and Jarrow kids.
Jennifer Lance says
Good point Ashley! I really don’t know that much about what should or should not be in a vitamin, but I do trust Dr. Greene.
Dr. John Hutton says
Jennifer, I too, appreciate your review and would like to add that blue manatee children’s bookstore and decafé has more than 20 years experience selecting and selling books that are best-of-breed. The books on our site have been hand selected and carefully organized into themes with keen consideration given to developmental milestones. These are books worthy of every child’s bookshelf and they stand the test of time – which is why they are often very hard to find at half-price stores. blue manatee boxes were designed to be ordered as gifts – (a great alternative to the overstuffed, chachki filled baby baskets that are heavily marketed over the internet) – with painstaking attention to the most eco friendly packaging so there is no waste. If and when packaging ends up in a landfill it will easily decompose. In addition, many of the books on the site are more expensive than those reviewed and with shipping costs on the rise due to the price of gas, the fixed price provides a great value – especially if you choose a selection that includes books that retail above the average. What could be better for grandparents living in another city, relatives, friends and busy co-workers who might be buying a baby gift for the first time?