Navy and Mustard: on-the-go Baby Essentials

On the way to school this morning, my older son looked up at the sunshine and determined that Spring is almost here. It’s true; with just a few weeks of winter to go, Spring is, indeed, right around the corner.

And so, since many of my fashion and beauty writer friends (Vera of Lady and the Blog and Jill of Glamamom come to mind) have been sharing the vibrant trends to come, I was inspired to share just some of the many cool baby finds that have been hibernating in my inbox and bookmarks.

I’ve done styleboards and Polyvore boards before, but I’m finding that this is a great way to encourage fresh content while merging social media and fun graphics. I have to note that this particular board was inspired by the Stokke Xpory Winter Kit (which is still very much a necessity for most areas) and that super chic chevron Patemm Pad (which is exclusive to Pottery Barn this Spring.)

So, by the numbers, here are just a few on-the-go baby essentials inspired by these brisk days leading up to a sunny Spring!

1. Clek Foonf

You know how Natalie Portman says in The Garden State that the Shins song will change your life? Well, that’s what I’m getting from the Clek Foonf. Except it’s a car seat. Yeah. So, from what I’ve read and seen, the Foonf is a game changer in the car seat realm. As it should, car seat safety is constantly evolving, and from the reviews I’m seeing, the Foonf is being described as revolutionary. And when it comes to kid safety, who doesn’t want the best?
The seat pictured is called Dragonfly, and it’s one of the many color options of the Foonf. I felt this one had a modern, minimalist feel with its white base and mossy colored seating. Expect to pay top dollar for this sleek car seat that boasts the highest safety standards and features REACT Technology.

2. Thermos Tripoli Foogo Vacuum Insulated Soft Spout Sippy Cup

Sippy cups from Thermos are typically as sleek in function as they are in aesthetic. Foogo was always one of my favorites with my older son, so I’m glad this mainstay in the stainless steel sector has designs beyond licensed characters. Besides the sustainability, I always found that Thermos sippys are just as durable.

3. Skip Hop Treetop Friends Wise Owl Stroller Toy

I’ve been a longtime fan of Skip Hop because of their modern yet playful designs. I know the owl craze has been fading, but I love the colors and textures of this simple stroller toy.

4. Aden+Anais Brilliant Blue Swaddle

Parents know, especially in the infancy stage, a great blanket and/or burp cloth are diaper bag staples. Based on conversations I’ve had on Twitter and simply by walking around the city, Aden+Anais Swaddles have reached a cult-like status among parents because of the versatility of these muslin swaddles. Before Beyonce introduced Blue Ivy to the world with an A+A swaddle in the backdrop, many of us were using these lightweight blankets to wipe up barf, use as a nursing cover, stroller shade and, yes, even as a swaddle. Just as glamorous as Bey, right?

5. Stokke Xplory and Winter Kit

As a devoted Stokke fan, naturally, I adore just about anything this Norwegian company conjures up. Truly. We invested in the Sleepi crib for our oldest and haven’t looked back since. The Xplory, however, sets the bar higher for strollers—quite literally. It boasts a higher seat, giving baby a better view of their new world and more opportunity to interact with their caregivers. The Xplory is noted for its comfort and maneuverability, which is particularly important for families who consider their strollers their main mode of transportation.
For those of us who are still wearing heavy coats and snowboots, the Stokke Winter Kit is, perhaps, an essential for your stroller arsenal. From the sheepskin edged rim to the warm muffs, the Winter Kit is both functional and stylish for baby and parent.

6. Itzy Ritzy Snack Bag in Social Circle Blue

Reusable snack bags are just a few of my favorite items that make sense for families on the go. Whether they’re Annie’s Bunnies or baby puffs, reusable snack bags like these from Itzy Ritzy help diminish waste and add a little flair to the diaper bag.

7. Navy Chevron Patemm Changing Pad Pottery Barn Kids

If there was ever a diaper-changing essential, the Patemm Pad is it. A round changing pad that actually accommodates your growing child AND all of the accoutrements? Say no more. Patemm Pads not only have stylish prints, but they’re also mom-invented. This chevron print is exclusive to Pottery Barn Kids this Spring, so be sure to grab one while you can.

8. timi & leslie diaper bag Sophia – Lemon Yellow & Shadow White

Beyond the color scheme on this board, style and function are the other overlapping themes. Timi & Leslie diaper bags are synonymous with style while remaining functional. Like many other moms on the go, I don’t have time to switch from diaper bag to work or evening bag. Seriously. One of the greatest compliments is when a non-mom friend compliments my diaper bags, thinking they’re “regular” bags.
The Sophia bag in Lemon Yellow and White, which is part of the Convertible Collection, is a roomy bag with a variety of pockets, yet maintains a sleek satchel silhouette on the exterior. I like that this bag looks like leather, but is a vegan-friendly material. And going back to functional, I’m absolutely loving the clutch that’s included. It’s all about the details!

IIHS: 31 Booster Seats are Best Bets

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a report yesterday that revealed “half of children’s car booster seats can’t ensure a proper fit with all safety belts.”

In their report, the IIHS identified seats that were Best Bets, as well as pinpointed specific boosters that parents should avoid. Booster seats, which are for children who have outgrown forward-facing child restraints, should elevate a child and route the lap and shoulder belts while providing a secure fit.

Out of 62 tested boosters, 31 seats made the IIHS’ Best Bets and five make the cut for Good Bets.

Britax Frontier 85 SICT

NKT fave, Britax, was mentioned several times on the list, as well as Clek, Chicco and Graco, just to name a few.  One brand that received great reviews, and I’m intrigued about, is Harmony.  Anyone have this brand?

If you’re shopping for booster seats, be sure to check out IIHS’ report.  See below for the 2011 Booster Evaluation Results.

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IIHS Rates Best and Worst Booster Seats

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its latest reports on children’s booster seat evaluations.  With safety in mind, IIHS, a non-profit organization funded by auto insurers, carries out research and produces ratings for passenger vehicles, as well as for certain consumer products like booster seats.  In reading the report, it’s not just the seat that’s important, it’s how the seat and seatbealt fit the child.  Most booster seats, unlike carseats, utilize a vehicle’s seatbelt.  Carseat.org (link to an informational PDF) says booster seats are typically used by children 4 until 10.

According to IIHS, it’s important to note that the Institute doesn’t conduct vehicle crash tests to evaluate boosters because boosters don’t do the restraining in a crash. It’s the fit of the belt that’s important.  A good booster routes the lap belt across a child’s upper thighs and positions the shoulder belt at midshoulder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IIHS says that this year’s top-rated boosters outnumber ones that they don’t recommend.  Brands such as Britax, Chicco, Clek, among others make the list.  Read more to find out which seats make IIHS’ list.

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Clek Introduces Two New Designs

Just in time for road trip season, Clek has introduced two new Paul Frank designs to its award-winning line of Olli Booster Seats.

The camoflouge-inspired Skurvy Camo Olli Booster Seat features a puzzle pattern with fun orange accents.  The Julius Hearts Me design highlights everyone’s favorite monkey, Julius, alongside of jewel-toned hearts.

Clek’s Olli, a backless, belt-positioning booster seat, is best suited for children whose height and weight are between 40-57 in./101-145 cm. and are 40-120 lbs.

I thought matching our convertible car seat to our car’s interior would be a good thing.  Now, years later, I’m sort of itching for more color and spunk, something that better matches our pirate and Julius fan.  With Skurvy Camo, it’s almost like Paul Frank had us in mind.

Olli Booster Seats retail for $100 and can be found at baby and kid stores that sell Clek products, including Babies R Us, Diapers.com and Buy Buy Baby.