Tag: baby products

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Should I Buy My Baby’s Products In The Store or Online?

More and more people are buying online these days.  Let’s face it, it is so easy!  You think of something you want or need, and you are seconds away from getting it, virtually anytime and anywhere.  Not only is it very convenient, but you also have much more variety to choose from.  With Amazon.com for example, if you search for “Teething Toys”, you get 6,000 results.  Even if you went into Babies R Us before it went out of business, you might have had 40 options to choose from in the teethers section.   Although we have so many options shopping online, which for many means Amazon, there is a danger lurking that you sense is there but can’t quite put your finger on.   We hope to bring light to the details that could be the source of your gut feeling.

The Old Way to Buy Baby Products

Traditionally, we relied on large retailers such as Walmart, Target, and the former Babies R Us, to research a need in the market and find a product that fits that need. Those large retailers proactively ensure:

  • The product is Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC) compliant
  • Any claims that a product makes on its packaging is verifiable by an independent 3rd party
  • The company that backs that product is focused on quality, not just profit
  • Products are made in ethical working conditions

In addition, because physical stores (i.e. Walmart and the like) typically buy directly from the brand that has the product manufactured, there is virtually no possibility for counterfeit products.  There is one party accountable to the end customer, and that is ultimately the brand.  If the retailer does a bad job at this, it is a poor reflection on them.

The New Way To Buy Baby Products

Amazon has drastically changed the landscape of retail.    The new way consumers buy relies on resellers to give you the variety and convenience that consumers have come to expect.   Resellers are mini online retailers that pay Amazon a commission for every unit they sell on Amazon.   So, when you shop on Amazon, you are not necessarily buying from Amazon, you are buying from a sea of small retailers that are fighting to get you to buy from them.  Many resellers have made millions selling on Amazon.com, so they keep growing and growing every day.  Anyone can sell on Amazon.  Competition and ease for resellers to start selling on Amazon have created a slew of potential issues.

  • False claims – some products may claim to be “freezer safe”, for example, but have not actually been tested to make that claim. Many resellers will add features to create more sales.
  • Fake reviews – Some resellers hire companies that specialize in creating fake reviews that help boost product listings to the top of search results and increase sales.
  • Paid for reviews – reviews that were given in exchange for a free or steeply discounted product.
  • Counterfeit products – If a product does well on Amazon, some unethical manufacturers will make an identical or very similar product and may or may not use the same quality of materials, then sell it for the same amount or less. Counterfeits may use the original branding to pass it off as the original, but sometimes they do change it a tiny bit and use very similar branding to mislead the consumer into mistakenly buying theirs instead of the original.
  • Sellers located overseas shipping direct to the US – These products don’t have to go through the same United States Customs process. Customs scrutinizes large shipments to ensure products are what they say they are and that they meet CPSC guidelines.  Smaller consumer packages often go straight to the consumers.  The other disadvantage to this is it takes a long time to get the product.

Amazon has policies in place to help combat some of these problems and every seller must agree to follow those policies; however, many of the offenders fall through the cracks.  Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from these scenarios, but they may take a little bit away from the convenience you are used to.

What can I do to make sure I buy the best product for my baby?

One way is to do it the old way.  Go into a trusted store.  As mentioned earlier, physical stores have a lot of products that fit most people’s/baby’s needs.  You can rest easy knowing that if you buy something in a store, it has been scrutinized carefully by the store.  If you are looking for a selection most like what you found in Babies R’ Us (BRU), we recommend buybuyBaby (BBB). BBB has even more of a selection than BRU did.  The trouble is, there aren’t as many BBB stores.  If you have one close to you, this is a great place to shop and learn about baby products.  Not only do they have a large variety of proven products, but they also have an excellent staff that can help answer questions and point you in the right direction.  If BBB is too far away, here is a breakdown of the various physical stores you might try.

Store Type

Store

Variety Product Confidence

Physical Stores

buybuyBaby

A A

Walmart

C A
Target D

A

Local Boutiques A*

B*

Amazon N/A**

N/A**

* Independent retailers are a catchall category for retailers that are either online only or only have a handful of physical stores dedicated primarily to baby products.  Some can be excellent in terms of variety and quality assurance, and some can be poor in both.  If you explore locally, you are sure to find some good ones.
** Amazon purchased Whole-Foods, so they do have brick and mortar locations; however, the baby section in these stores has not changed much and is relatively limited.

As you can see from the chart, Walmart and Target may not have the same variety that you can get online; however, they carefully scrutinize the products they offer and the companies that provide them.  We are happy to say that Little Toader products are available in stores and we know firsthand how important quality is to these retailers. It is also worth noting that there are Walmart’s and Targets virtually everywhere, so while you may not have as much selection, you won’t have to wait for your product to ship and you know you are getting a good product.

Navigating Amazon

You think you got the chops to tackle online, fine, but make sure you follow these tips.  You can still find some very good quality products, from reputable companies on Amazon, you just need to do a little homework to make sure you are getting what you think you are getting.

  • Make sure the product’s reviews are on the up and up. There is a website that tells you if the reviews for a product seem fishy.  You can even install a chrome extension, so you can find out without leaving the product page, how legit those reviews are.  Each page will have a “Pass”, “Warning”, or “Fail”.  You can try it out on one of our Little Toader products below.

https://reviewmeta.com/amazon/B00HTURS3Q  Or try a product with ratings that seem too good to be true on Amazon, copy the url at the top (e.g. https://….) and paste in top area of the page on http://reviewmeta.com

  • Verify the accuracy of claims. There are so many resellers that can add content to the product page. Sometimes they may make a claim that will lead to more sales.  We suggest you find the website for the manufacturer of the product and check to see what they say about the product.  You will also be able to verify if you are getting a good deal from that seller.
  • Verify the reliability of the brand. For example, if you search for “Teething Toys” and see several different listings for what appears to be the exact same product, but the packaging is different, this can mean that these products are made overseas, resold to many different people or companies. It is hard to verify the safety of these products with so many different people involved.
  • Check for Counterfeits. There are a lot of well-known brands that have knockoffs.  These can be a little hard to detect because they are made to look just like the real product. If you look at the product listing and notice that the seller has a significantly smaller number of reviews, a shorter history on Amazon, and it is branded slightly different than what you find on the original manufacturer’s website, then be cautious and report it to Amazon.  Counterfeits typically are not made with the same quality of materials.
  • Don’t buy products that ship from overseas. If you are interested in buying collectables, buying a product that ships from overseas may be okay, but if you are buying a baby product, be sure it is shipping from the US.  If the product is Prime, you don’t have to worry about this.  If the product shows a long delivery window, beware.

So, if you want to buy baby products without having to second guess, find a local store that you trust, whether it is buybuyBaby, Walmart, Target, or a baby boutique.  That may not always be the most convenient, so if you are going online, just make sure you are aware of the common gotchas we discussed to protect you and your baby from poor quality products, or products that aren’t quite what they claim to be.

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5 Funny Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Parents

Picking out the perfect stocking stuffers for the family is a fun part of the holidays! Candy and small toys are great ideas for kids but sometimes you just don’t know what to get for babies and toddlers. If you want to get something special for your kids this year, why not choose something that’s unique and funny that will entertain parents as well? These five funny stocking stuffer ideas are cute, useful for baby/kids, and are sure to make parents laugh!

1. Shark Slippers

Available for adults, toddlers, and babies, these upcycled sock sets make lounging around ferocious family fun! Outside, a fierce shark face nips at your tot’s toes, and inside, the cushy polar fleece lining keeps his or her fins toasty. Grippy fishes swimming on the slipper’s soles provide a slip-free surface, perfect for lurking up behind loved ones for surprise hug attacks!

$36.00
www.uncommongoods.com

shark slippers

2. Make Your Own Monster Puppet

Kids can make their own lovable monster with the Make Your Own Monster Puppet from Melissa and Doug. The plush pieces easily Velcro to the puppet (our favorites are the hairy eyebrows!) and the possibilities are as endless as your little one’s imagination!

$24.99
www.psychobabyonline.com

monster puppet

3. Little Toader AppeTEETHERS

Teething is no fun for anyone and can be painful for tiny tots and tough on the rest of the family. AppeTEETHERS are patented, silicone teething toys free of BPA, Phthalate, PVC and lead. They provide the perfect amount of resistance to sooth toddlers’ sore gums, and best of all the cute one-of-a-kind designs will surely make you chuckle because they look exactly like real food! The current line includes Chompin’ Chicken Wing, Baby-Q Rib, Ice Cream U Scream, Nopainapple, LOL! Sucker and Broccoli Bites.

$9.99
www.littletoader.com

appeteethers

4. Chill Baby Mustache Pacifier

A baby with a mustache? Something is adorably wrong with this picture. Chill Baby Mustache Pacifier is designed to soothe and comfort baby, while giving parents a quiet break. And you can’t help but crack a smile when your baby looks up at you with a black mustache above their lip. Quality-molded from nontoxic plastic and baby-grade silicone, this pacifier is BPA free. The comfort shape and texture is especially soothing for infants.

$9.95
www.fatbraintoys.com

pacifier mustache

5. Lumber Jack Beanie for Baby and Toddlers

Lumber Jack Mask and warm winter hat that turns your baby and toddler into a big strong lumberjack. Adorable and so Portland. Get your beard on. The beard is removable so you can have either a hipster hat or keep the face warm with a beard. Great because in those rough winter climates the delicate baby skin can get cracked and dry. Protect it from winter wind and snow with an adorable and manly beard.

$17.00
www.babywit.com

lumber jack beanie

What funny stocking stuffers have you purchased?

teething toysWritten by Lori Bredemeier, Founder of Little Toader.

Lori Bredemeier is the co-founder of Little Toader with her husband Michael. They are the inventors of AppeTEETHERS, safe and effective teething toys for babies that look like real foods!

What makes AppeTEETHERS safe:

1. AppeTEETHERS are solid silicone and extremely durable. There are no parts and there are no surface materials that could possibly come apart or detached.

2. Lori and Michael are germ-a-phobes! This is another reason they chose silicone. AppeTEETHERS are not porous so they do not absorb germs, dirt, or any other undesirable deposits. This makes them very easy to clean at home or on the go.

3. AppeTEETHERS do not have topical paint. All of our coloring is the actual color of the silicone. There is no risk of flaking or having the paint rub off into your baby’s mouth.

Consistently ranking in the top teething toys, AppeTEETHERS are a truly unique teething solution. Babies love them and parents get a kick out of watching their precious bundle of joy using them. All Little Toader products are tested and are Consumer Product Safety Commission compliant.

Visit www.littletoader.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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6 Ways to Rock Out Your Baby’s Car Seat

A good car seat is essential for baby’s safety while traveling in the car. Once you’ve got the right car seat set up and correctly installed, it’s time to make sure that it’s comfortable for baby. There are plenty of options for car seat accessories for baby’s comfort and privacy but also to keep baby entertained while you’re busy concentrating on the road. These top products make traveling by car with baby a breeze for parents.

1. Babee Covee

Babee Covee is an award-winning convertible baby blanket and cover that is SIX products in ONE! It makes traveling with baby easy by eliminating the need to buy, pack and carry bulky single-use items while helping to protect baby/toddler from germs where ever you go.

The trendy Babee Covee can be used as: 1) car seat canopy cover 2) nursing cover 3) shopping cart cover 4) high chair cover 5) stroller cover/blanket and 6) playtime blanket.

car seat canopy

$39.99 – $49.99

www.babeecovee.com

2. Pully Palz

Pully Palz are the first ever baby toys that actually help babies retrieve their own pacifiers! They’re interactive and entertaining to keep baby distracted and helpful for parents who no longer have to play the “pacifier game.” The innovative and developmentally beneficial toy keeps pacifiers in view and in reach to keep them clean. Pully Palz hold most pacifiers and attach to baby carriers, bouncers and more.

pacifier holder

$19.99

www.pullypalz.com

3. Baby Elephant Ears

Baby Elephant Ears is a multi-use headrest providing spinal/neck alignment and comfort for babies — and they’re designed to look like adorable elephant ears! Baby Elephant Ears go wherever baby goes — stroller, swing, carseat, changing table, etc. The headrests are fully washable and require no attachments, straps or special skills and they’re offered in diverse prints and organics. The superior design and durability of these headrests make them the perfect gift for parents! Winner of this year’s Huggies MomInspired Award!

baby headrest

$21.95

www.babyelephantears.com

4. Zipadee-Zip

The Zipadee-Zip is an alternative to the traditional sleep sacs and swaddle blankets because it provides babies with the snug feeling of security while allowing for the freedom of pajamas. With Zipadee-Zip, babies are free to stand up, crawl, roll and move around safely. This versatile sleep garment has 7+ uses including: encourages sleep during travel, provides a germ-free environment on planes, trains and cars, prevents scratching and more. It works like magic to help babies fall asleep and stay asleep and is ideal for transitioning babies from swaddling or for babies who do not like to be swaddled.

 

transitioning babies from swaddlin

$34.95

www.sleepingbaby.com

5. Woombie Convertible Leggies Swaddle

The Woombie Convertible Leggies allows for baby’s arms to come out which is important for car seat safety AND allows for freedom of baby’s legs.  Baby baby is free to sit in a car seat while feeling the snugness and security of being swaddled. Simple, safe and effective, Woombie Convertible Leggies easily swaddles and soothes baby and is a must-have for car travel.

lower body swaddle

$30.00

www.woombie.com

6. Little Toader AppeTEETHERS

Teething is one of the most painful development processes for babies and is just as tough on parents, especially during long car rides. AppeTEETHERS are patented, silicone teething toys free of BPA, Phthalate, PVC and lead. They provide the perfect amount of resistance to sooth babies’ sore gums, and best of all the cute one-of-a-kind designs will surely make you chuckle because they look exactly like real food! The current line includes Chompin’ Chicken Wing, Baby-Q Rib, Ice Cream U Scream, Nopainapple, LOL! Sucker and Broccoli Bites.
teething toys

$9.99

www.littletoader.com

baby blanket and coverWritten By Alma Moussa, Inventor of Babee Covee.

Invented by accident by Alma Moussa during a playdate, the Babee Covee is a versatile baby blanket and cover that has six uses in one! This award-winning, must-have baby gear eliminates the need to buy, pack, and carry bulky single purpose items while protecting baby from germs where ever you go; no more overflowing diaper bag’ no more blanket falling off the car seat and no more germs on publicly shared items!

The Babee Covee can be used as: 1) car seat canopy cover 2) stroller cover/blanket 3) shopping cart cover 4) high chair cover 5) nursing cover and 6) playtime blanket. It easily attaches to a car seat or stroller and does not fall off! It can also be used to cover the baby for privacy while sleeping (includes a peek in window).

Visit www.babeecovee.com for more information.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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5 Additives to Avoid in Baby Products– How to Determine if a Product is Safe for Babies

baby safety tipsSeptember is Baby Safety Month. Many parents don’t realize that there are baby products on the market that are not the healthiest or safest choice for their infants. Parents should carefully research which baby products are safest, and which materials and additives to avoid when choosing the best products for their family. I was determined to find eco-friendly materials that were void of harmful chemicals for my line of nursing pillows. It was not an easy feat to find a foam replacement for our products (foam requires fire retardants) – but after years of persistence, we did just that. During my research, I came across a Duke University study that exposed toxic chemical additives in over a hundred baby products. I was shocked to see which companies were on the list! Below are the top five additives to avoid when buying baby products.

Phthalates
Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that are often used to make plastics soft. They are found all throughout the home in clothing, bedding, toys and more, making babies and children especially vulnerable to these chemicals.

PVC
PVC plastic, better known as vinyl, is one of the most toxic substances that can cause health and environmental problems. It appears in everything from lunch boxes to children’s toys to cars. Phthalates are often added to PVC to make the plastic more flexible. Stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to phase out the use of PVC in their products.

Lead
Lead is a poison that was banned from home use but can still be found in products today. Children can get lead poisoning from swallowing or breathing in lead which can also be spread by dust. Lead poisoning causes problems with children’s growth, behavior, and ability to learn. Protect yourself and your child by washing hands and toys often even when they don’t look dirty.

Triclosan
Triclosan is a pesticide found in many anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitizers. Triclosan is a hormone-disruptor that is also found in toothpaste, cosmetics, yoga mats and more. It can encourage the growth of drug-resistant bacteria and water pollution. Make sure you check labels to avoid products containing the words triclosan and triclocarban.

Fire retardant chemicals
Fire retardant chemicals have also been linked to hormone disruption, cancer and harming the development of the brain. Dust is a primary route of exposure so you should dust and vacuum regularly. Products made of polyurethane foam, a highly-flammable material, have been required by the Bureau of Home Furnishings to be treated with toxic fire-retardant chemicals. Parents should search for foam-free alternatives to avoid these harmful fire-retardant chemicals.

For more information on the Duke University study, visit http://watoxics.org/publications/hidden-hazards-in-the-nursery.

Note: Sandy Clark is not a doctor and this release is not intended to give medical advice but rather display research and findings to educate parents. Her mission is to be a passionate breastfeeding advocate and leading manufacturer of safe baby products.

nursing pillowWritten by Sandy Clark, Inventor of San Diego Bebe Eco-Nursing Pillow

San Diego Bebe® was designed by San Diego native Sandy Clark, a passionate breastfeeding advocate and mother of twins. Clark was inspired at a San Diego beach one day where she witnessed a young mother unsuccessfully nursing her baby. As the mother struggled to keep a blanket across her shoulder while her baby wailed from heat and hunger, Clark vowed then and there to design a product that would help resolve the issue of privacy while nursing. San Diego Bebe® was born that day.

When Clark sent her nursing pillow to Duke to be tested and reviewed, Duke University Chemical Scientist Dr. Heather Stapleton, who is a mother herself, said, “The San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is not only a very supportive pillow with amazing features for discreet nursing, but is also free of flame-retardant chemicals that have been shown to cause adverse health effects in animal studies. I applaud Double Blessings [Clark’s company] for taking steps to produce high quality products that meet the same flammability standards without using these chemicals.”

San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is the healthiest and most innovative nursing pillow on the market. Made with virgin polyfiber Eco*Loft™, a non-toxic and hypo-allergenic foam-alternative, it’s void of harmful chemicals. It’s also recyclable and eco-friendly. San Diego Bebe® is available in two versions, for nursing one baby or twins. The entire line is baby-safe, and is covered with deluxe plush fabrics including organic cotton.

Click to view a Nursing Pillow Comparison Chart to learn more.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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