Posted in Parenting, Product Reviews

The Beltlock : Product Review + Giveaway!

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*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Project5 Creations Ltd. in any way.  This product review is based on my personal and honest opinion.*

A couple of weeks ago, Denise, from Project5 Creations Ltd., contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a product that was designed for child safety.  After hopping over to the website of the product to check it out, I immediately responded that I would be very pleased to try it out and review it on my blog.

Less than a week later, I received in my mailbox not one, but two beltlocks, one to try out and review and one to giveaway on my blog!

About the beltlock

From their website:

Safety is of paramount concern for every parent, especially when traveling with children. The inadvertent opening of a seatbelt is dangerous for the child and distracting for the driver. As a parent you can protect your children by using Beltlock to secure their car seats in place. It fits easily over the seat belt receiver and can be removed without difficulty by an adult.

Initial impressions

Though not related directly to the product, I think that it is important to consider that it was very easy to communicate with a Project5 Creations representative.  I received replies to my emails very quickly and the shipping was really quick.

The actual product is well packaged (no overpackaging!) and the beltlock comes with easy to follow instructions.  It is small, lightweight, and a bright orange colour.

The claims

– The beltlock is easy to install and remove

– The device fits easily over the belt receiver

– It prevents a child to easily unclasp their seatbelt

The verdict

Even without looking at the illustrated instructions, it is very easy to figure out how the beltlock works.  It is indeed very simple to install and is large enough to fit over any belt receiver.  Once the device is on, it is very easy to secure the seatbelt and it is indeed impossible to unclasp the belt without using an object (like a key) to release the seatbelt.

I like that the beltlock is compact and lightweight thus enabling a parent to stow it in the glove compartment, a purse or a pocket while not in use.  The bright orange colour makes it easy to find too.  I enjoy the simplicity of the product and think that it is useful not only for assuring the safety of very young children, but could also be used with special needs children, teens and adults.

In conclusion

I will definitely be hanging on to one of the two beltlocks I received.  The product does exactly what it claims:  It works, It’s easy to use, it’s practical and it’s a simple solution to a problem that I am certain more than one parent has experienced.

Want to go check out the Beltlock for yourself?  Go check out their blog, website or Facebook page.

The *giveaway*

As I mentioned, I received two beltlocks from the wonderful people over at Project5 Creations and I am super thrilled to give one of them to one of you lucky readers!  If you’re interested, just let me know in the comments section of this post.  Next Tuesday (November 19th), I’ll be randomly selecting a winner from the participants which I will announce in my TTT post.

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Posted in Parenting, Product Reviews

I ♥ BabyLegs (Baby Product Review #4)

I like to dress up my son.  It’s one of my guilty pleasures.  I mean, I can stay in my old pyjamas all day, but for some reason, I feel the need to get my son into a cute attire during the day even if I know it would be loads easier (whilst allowing me to do less laundry) to just keep him in his footed pjs all day.  But I can’t, so I dress him up.

When he was younger (hehe, kinda funny to say that when he is only 5 months old), we received a whole lot of gently used clothing from a friend.  And they were all pretty easy to put on him.  But then, he started growing and putting on weight and he outgrew the clothes.  All that I was left with were some pairs of jeans.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to put on a pair of jeans on a squiggly cloth-diapered little boy who found his feet?  It’s next to impossible.  I was always dreading diaper changes because I knew I would have to fight to get the pants off and then fight to get them back on.

*Sigh* There just had to be a better way.

And then I remembered hearing (well, reading, actually) about something called Baby Legs.  Quite a few parents had commented on how awesome they were.  Each time, I was curious, but didn’t actually go and check out what they were like.  I figured “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is”.

Oh, how wrong I was!

BabyLegs are, essentially, legwarmers that cover the leg from the hip down.

Why do I love them?

  1. They’ve got TONS of really cute patterns EVEN for boys (remember my rant on baby clothing where I complained that there wasn’t a lot of  cute clothing for boys?)
  2. They are super easy to put on.
  3. They don’t require to be taken off before changing a diaper.
  4. They stay on.
  5. They pretty much have one size (8cm x 33cm long) but they have one category that is smaller (newborn – 7cm x 21cm long) and one category that is larger (sports teams – 9cm x 40cm long).
  6. Because of their sizing (one size fits most) they last quite a bit longer than a pair of pants.
  7. They’ve got a category that offers a 50+ spf protection, and a category that protects against bugs (though the patterns from the latter are available in Canada, the actual bug protection isn’t).
  8. They are versatile (I’ve used them over his arms on day when he was strapped into his car seat and I noticed I’d forgotten to pull his jacket first).
  9. Oh, and did I mention they were cute? 😛 (Plus you can mix and match)

You can match (notice the camouflaged diaper)
You can match (notice the camouflaged diaper)
You can mix and match.
You can mix and match.
And when your baby model is tired of being dressed up for his photo shoot, you can get growled at by his shirt!
And when your baby model is tired of being dressed up for his photo shoot, you can get growled at by his shirt!

Related post:

Posted in Infant, Parenting, Product Reviews

5 Meters of Fabric

Last Sunday I was going CRA-ZY!

Seriously, my son has been a pain in the proverbial bum these past weeks.  I’ve never heard him cry so much for no apparent reason.

Apparently, he is getting ready for wonder week #19 (more on that in another post)…

He needed to be held pretty much all the time.  And, well, he’s getting rather heavy (I swear, I’m going to be as strong as Superman by the time he no longer wants to be held).  So, I decided to invest in a new carrier.

I already have a Morph carrier.  But, I wanted something less bulky (thus less heavy) and figured that I may as well buy a carrier that was more ergonomic for my son (ie: not a “crotch dangler”).  After quite a bit of research, I figured I’d buy an Ergo; it had great reviews from the babywearing community and seemed less scary than a wrap.

So, about an hour before all the stores would close, I grabbed my cranky son (who, by the way, had slept a grand total of one hour during the day) and hopped in the car.

Imagine my disappointment when, upon lugging my sleeping (finally) son all the way from the car to the very small carrier section of my local (20 minutes away) Babies ‘R Us store, I realized that there were no Ergo’s to be found!  It was, it would seem, an online purchase only.

So, I put my son’s car seat on the floor to give my arms a break, took a breath and thought about my options:

  1. I could just go back home and be thankful that I was actually able to get my son to nap.
  2. Look at the other options that were in front of me and buy something other than an Egro.

I picked option #2 partly because I was slightly annoyed at myself at having driven 20 minutes for nothing and partly because I knew that my son was going to keep being his clingy little self-centered self (but that’s OK because he’s only four months old!) and he wasn’t going to get any lighter.

I looked at the (tiny) selection as I tried to make up my mind:

  • Baby Björn: Nope.  Too similar to the Morph pod that I already have.  I’ve heard (read) that the straps are rather uncomfortable, plus it’s a “crotch-dangler”.
  • Infantino: Nope.  It was “disrecommended” (for lack of a better term) by some babywearers because of an incident related to the sling.
  • Morph: Nope.  I already have that one.
  • Mamankangourou Amerigo:  *Hesitates*.  Darn, it’s a wrap.  *Looks around to see if there are any Ergos hiding somehow*.  *Looks back at the wrap*.

I actually ended up buying the wrap, figuring that I can surely figure it out.  Besides, I had to get a move on because my son was starting to stir and there was no way I wanted to deal with a screaming-himself-hoarse-because-he’s-tired-and-cranky baby in the middle of Babies ‘R Us if I could help it.

I got home, left my little bundle of joy still bundled up in his car seat on the living room floor and opened my new carrier.  5 meters of fabric.  “Oh s***, I thought”.

And then I looked at the instruction booklet.  It *looked* easy enough.  Just to be sure, I popped in the DVD that came with the product and followed the steps to wrap this thing around myself.  And you know what?  It’s actually rather easy!

Want to see? (I’m showing you anyways.  Oh, and don’t mind my PJs or the fact that you can’t see my face; I’m rather camera-shy (not that the PJs have anything to do with the fact that I’m camera-shy…).

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The “kangaroo” position. It’s my and his favorite. I find it really comfy and he loves it because he is facing outwards and can play with his feet (the hand you see is holding one of his feet)!
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The “hip carry”. I still have to work on this one to make it a bit more comfortable for me. After some experimentation, I was able to tie it at the right height so that my son could nurse. GREAT for public transit!
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The “tummy to tummy”. This one is really comfy for me and allows my son to look around if he wants to and put his head against my chest if he gets tired to take a snooze. I went out and took a walk with him (with my maternity coat over us both) and it was awesome!

I’m in LOVE with the wrap!  Now, I really want to buy a woven so that I can do other carries including back carries (when my son gets older) and perhaps a sling!

Do you use a carrier?  Which is your absolute favorite?

 

Posted in Infant, Newborn, Product Reviews

Baby Product Review #3: The Kissy Booboo Teddy Bear

You’ve heard of magic bags right?  You know, those things that you can stick into the microwave to warm up and then use on aches and pains.  Well the kissy booboo teddy bear is just that, but for babies.

The company was first started in 2005, but the work that went into it began in 1997, when the president of the company gave birth to her child.  Her story is an inspirational one.  Her daughter was born with neurological problems and digestive system problems which required her to undergo surgery.  She was in pain and her mother was determined to help her daughter find relief from it.  Looking into natural pain-relief, she found a cereal mix that she stuffed inside of a teddy bear shaped sac.  The kissy booboo teddy bear was born.

I’ve used this product on my son a few times, especially when he is grunting and crying through tummy pain caused by gas.  It has really helped him as it provides both heat and slight pressure that seems to relieve his discomfort.

At under 20$, it is fairly inexpensive and can be used both as a cool pack and a warm pack.  The sac has a cute teddy bear shape that is small enough to fit over a baby’s tummy and the bear comes with its own swaddle blanket (so cute!).

Oh!  For those of you who, like me, don’t own a microwave oven the good news is that you don’t need to buy one just to use this product!  Though it takes a bit longer, you can warm it up in the oven too.  Just start your oven at 350 F, once it is at the correct temperature, turn off your oven and put the teddy bear (don’t forget to cut off the tags) in the oven for 3-4 minutes.  It will be just the right temperature and will stay warm for a while.

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There is my son showing off his teddy bear. Don’t mind the scratch on his forehead, those darned baby nails just keep growing and growing…

Posted in Product Reviews

Baby Product Review #2: The Fisher Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick and Play Piano Gym

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My kiddo LOVES this thing!

Santa delivered this to him on Christmas day and my son has been playing with it daily ever since we first assembled it on December 26th.  He has been playing with it daily since first discovering that he could create music by kicking his legs out and he can stay completely enthralled by the music he’s creating for nearly an hour before getting tired and needing a break.

Why I love this product so much?

For starters, it can be used from a very young age (my son was just over a month old when he first used it and had recently discovered that his legs were attached to his body).  Plus, it can grow with your child as it is a 3 in 1 toy.  The first stage – the one we use – allows the baby to be on his/her back to play.  Then, it can be transformed so that your kid can play whilst lying on his/her tummy.  Finally, once your little tyke can sit up, the toy can transform again so that the piano can now be played with hands rather than with feet.  An added plus?  It’s really easy to assemble!

Of course, I can’t ignore the fact that this is a great educational toy.  It aids in the development of gross motor skills and serves as an introduction to the world of cause and effect.  It is also a great sensory toy as it stimulates hearing, touch (feet on the piano keys and hands accidentally hitting the overhead toys) and sight (overhead mirror and lights lighting up when the music plays).  Speaking of the mirror, ours is angled so that our son sees his legs moving about, hitting the keys and making the lights turn on.  From the pictures of the product, I thought that the mirror would be parallel to the mat, thus allowing the baby to see him/herself.  However, I do frequently tilt the mirror so my son can see his face.  The results are instantaneous: he stops moving his legs and looks up at the “other baby” looking down on him with sheer astonishment.  Makes me laugh every time!

Oh my God!  There's that baby looking at me again!
Oh my God! There’s that baby looking at me again!

Of course, I can’t not talk about the music.  In all, there are eight melodies on two settings.  One setting allows for the actual individual notes on the keyboard to be played and if no keys are pressed within a few seconds one of four melodies will start to play.  On the other mode, the individual notes cannot be heard and the other four tunes play non stop for about a quarter hour.  The tunes are varied and quite pleasant as is the volume.  There are two volume settings and the loudest setting is no where near annoyingly loud.  The product requires 3 AA batteries which are included.

Posted in Infant, Newborn, Product Reviews

Baby Product Review #1: Applecheeks Washable Diapers

These ain’t your grandma’s ol’ cotton diapers!

I’d always been interested in using washable diapers for my children.  I’d figured, though,  that I would most likely wait for my kid to be on solids before using them as I’d heard how liquid milk poo was (and, boy is it liquid!).  However, the joys and challenges of giving birth to my first child put many of my ideas on the back burner and so, I (temporarily) forgot about the diapers.

My memory on the subject was jogged when I saw a pitch for the applecheeks washable diapers on an episode of Dragon’s Den Canada.  My first thought was ‘oh yeah, I wanted to use washable diapers’; it was soon followed by ‘wow, I had no idea washable diapers looked like that: they’re so darned cute!’.

During my nightly chunks of awake time, I went onto their website to learn more about them.  Besides being designed and manufactured in Quebec, Canada (way to encourage the local economy!), they seemed devilishly simple to use and care for even and especially with exclusively breast or formula fed babies.  No, seriously: 1. Put soiled insert/diaper cover in odor-free bag; 2. Empty everything (including the bag into the washing machine; 3. Wash them in hot water on a pre-rinse, heavy duty, extra rinse cycle; 4: Dry the inserts on high (without fabric softener) and hang the covers and bag to dry.  Voilà!

Reading about them got me really excited, but there was no way I would know if they lived up to their claims of simplicity without actually trying them out for myself.  So, I went on their online store and purchased a size 1 (there are only two sizes, the second going up to accommodating a forty-pound baby)  starter pack.

Before I knew it (really, the shipping was super fast) they had arrived and I was pre-washing them so I could finally try them out.

My verdict

I personally, really enjoy these diapers.  We loved them enough to purchase three more covers and four more inserts meaning that we have the equivalent of 13 size 1 diapers.  They are very easy to care for and are easy to use and they really are fully adjustable.  The odor proof/waterproof bag that came with the kit we ordered is does in fact keep odors away very efficiently (we keep it in our son’s room, right beside his changing table and there is no smell whatsoever even if it stays there for up to four days).  We are definitely going to invest in the size 2 covers when our son has outgrown the first diapers.

Some suggestions

  1. I would (and did) wait for my baby to be completely past the meconium phase before using them.
  2. The website provides care instructions that states that a “residue-free, scent-free, softener-free, glycerin-free” detergent be used.  They also suggest some detergents.  The shop I went to, which specializes in natural and eco-friendly personal care and cleaning products, suggested the Nature Clean hypoallergenic, unscented laundry liquid.  Personally, I am very satisfied with this product.

Worth the cost?

Our two purchases combined with the detergent cost us in total about 280 CAD.  Now, the detergent is going to last us a long time as we have a 3000 mL bottle and each wash requires only 30mL of soap for a top loader (if you have a frontal, you’ll only need 15mL).  This means that the 3 L bottle that I bought will yield 100 washes (if you have a frontal, you’d get 200 washes).

Now concerning disposable diapers, if you coupon and shop around (here’s a website that does the shopping for you) it can cost you as little as 0.15$ per diaper.  That means that you’ll start getting a return on your investment after changing roughly 1860 diapers.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I change anywhere from 6 to 10 a day.  If we keep things on the low side and estimate 6 a day for a year, we’re already at 2160 diaper changes in one year.  Plus, you can store them and reuse them for a second, third, etc. child.  In my eyes, it’s well worth the money.

Take a look, this is one of the six washable diapers we have.  Told you they were adorable!
Take a look.  This is one of the six washable diapers we have. Told you they were adorable!