Friday, June 6, 2008

Comfy Bibs

As I've mentioned in previous posts my little one and I have ventured into the new and exciting world of solid feeding!! I'm proud to say that we are slowly but surely expanding her repetoire and have even included Gasp! vegetables! which brings me to the topic of how to save all of her precious little outfits from green, brown, orange, etc. blobs of would be airplanes that never made it into the hanger.... while still pregnant I bought tons of cute little bibs with sayings like "Mommy's little girl" and "Daddy's little Princess" they fit the bill for spit up protection but were falling short of encounters with "real food", the princess one had an unfortunate encounter with some banana.... (note to self: Banana stains badly... even if you're quick to wash it out...) so I started to look for a bib that would be stain proof, water proof, yet still comfortable enough for an infant to wear around their neck.

I've been coveting Built NY's line of Bottle holders and Lunch Bags for some time now and was delighted to see that they make bibs out of the same Diving suit material, Neoprene that they use for the rest of their products. After several days of using their bibs, I can honestly say that they might very well be the best bibs ever!! definitely out of all I've seen. They are soft, flexible, waterproof, stainproof, and brightly coloured, have great side velcro closure which makes for easy on/off wear, they wash like a dream, even just in the sink, and are quick to dry to boot. The bibs were designed by Built designers Aaron Lown and John Roscoe Swartz when they couldn't find any products to meet their own parenting demands. We got the Comfy bib which is intended for babies 0-12 months, but they also sell the Tidy bib which has an added crumb catcher intended for 1-2 yr olds. I give this product my two thumbs up and will definitely be buying a couple more. Luckily they are available here too, we got ours through but I've seen them sold at Artlook,Dyada, and other premium baby boutiques.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A safer alternative

The fact that I'm head over heals for Etsy is old news, but there's a newcomer on the scene that has me watching, Dawanda. Dawanda is an untapped new source for Handmade goodies! Dawanda, though smaller scaled then Etsy, and with prices noted in Euros, is a great place to find unique goods with that oh so chic euro flair. Most of the sellers are european and many manage Etsy shops as well. The majority of my etsy shopping revolves around handcrafted safe toys for my daughter. I too have taken the pledge to buy handmade and I do whenever possible. There is really something special about contacting the creator of a product directly and receiving the custom made treatment, it also feels great to be supporting a fellow artist or designer, many of them SAHM. There seems to be a whole movement out there of parents who are demanding more responsibly made playthings for there children, be it lead free, hand made, phthalate free, organic, fair trade, waldorf or montessori inspired, etc. If you asked me it's about time! toys aren't just toys anymore and it's up to us as parents to monitor what is suitable for our children to put in their mouths, cribs, strollers and rooms. The daily recalls issued against those heaps of mass produced plasticy things is mindboggling, sure it's great to get a bargain, but when manufacturers start cutting costs, you have to think who's paying for it. Don't just take my word for it though, try reading The Walmart Effect. PBS recently ran a story on toxic toys in the US, specifically Phthalates in rubbers and plastics, check out the video here. I'm not saying all mass production is evil there are lots of great manufacturers out there, though quality generally has it's price. Enter sites like Etsy and Dawanda where you can get quality handcrafted wares priced without the overhead of regular retailers. It's worthwhile to check and compare prices though, I've seen the same listings on Etsy for $25 usd listed on Dawanda as 25 Euros!
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