Smart & Silky: kid friendly hand sanitizer

Nothing can replace good old fashioned hand-washing, but in this day in age where the H1N1 virus still looms, with the kids back in school and the upcoming flu season, it’s important as ever to emphasize illness-prevention.

Just in time for prime kiddie germ season, Smart & Silky and Kids Smart & Silky Foaming Hand Sanitizers is set to hit the shelves. Smart & Silky is alcohol-free, hypoallergenic and is not flammable or poisonous, making it ideal for kids.


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organicKidz SS bottles wins JPMA award

At the ABC Kids Expo, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) announced the winners of the 2009 Innovation Awards Competition which features several new products. Among the winners, organicKidz Stainless Steel Baby Bottles, was introduced earlier this year and has been garnering a lot of buzz ever since—and all for good reason.

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organicKidz Stainless Steel Baby Bottles are touted as being one of the safest baby bottles because they won’t break like glass, are BPA, PVC, Phthalate Free and the only naturally bacteria resistant baby bottles.  The first stainless steel baby bottles, organicKidsz bottles come in 4, 7 and 9 oz. sizes and retail for $19.99 to $23.99.  The bottles are available online and come in a spectrum of colors.

I think these bottles look so sharp.  Aside from the super cool stripes and polka dots, I love the sustainability of the stainless steel.  Even better, I’d love to see the nipples interchange with sippy cup nozzles.  We’ve been using stainless steel thermoses for years; stainless steel bottles are one of those products that just make sense!  Though I’ve yet to check them out in person, I’d love to see these for myself.

ERGObaby introduces Heart2Heart at ABC

infant_insertAt this week’s ABC Kid’s Show in Vegas, several companies are introducing various new products and innovations, with Ergobaby being one of them! Ergobaby, a favorite among many baby carrying moms and dads, has unveiled its new Infant Insert Heart2Heart.

The Infant Insert Heart2Heart features cushioning at the back and bottom to support the natural curvature of a baby’s developing spine. According to the company, they have researched the available expert opinions and analyses regarding baby carrying and physical development of the newborn baby. Based on this research ERGObaby has designed the ERGObaby Infant Insert Heart2Heart to position the newborn baby in a way that experts agree is conducive to its proper development.  The Heart2Heart is suggested for use for newborns 4 to 6 months.

The inserts are made of 100% cotton and come in caramel and green.  They retail for $25 and $38 for the 100% organic cotton inserts.


In addition to the Infant Insert Heart2Heart, six new carriers are being introduced at the ABC Kids Show in Las Vegas, as well as several new accessories.

Safety in mind, TRU unveils trade-in program

Toys “R” Us wantslogo_tru to take some unsafe baby products off of your hands. Dubbed “cash for cribs” by the LA Times, the big box toy and baby retailer announced a national program that will give customers a chance to trade-in used cribs, car seats and other baby products in exchange for savings on a new item.

With safety in mind, TRU says the “Great Trade-In” event, which begins on Friday, August 28, puts focus on second-hand and older baby gear that may have been passed down, but could be potentially unsafe. According to Kids In Danger, a consumer advocacy organization, less than 30% of affected items are returned when a baby product is recalled. Those unreturned items that were recalled could be passed down and in some cases, perhaps become a cause for serious concern.

TRU’s Great Trade-In event, possibly the first of its kind in the juvenile products sector, lasts until September 20. All Babies “R” Us and Toys “R” Us locations will accept returns of any used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, travel systems, play yards and high chairs in exchange for a 20% savings on the purchase of a new baby item, in any of the listed categories, from select manufacturers*.

Toys R Us, Times Square

With safety having paramount importance, baby and children’s product manufacturers must adhere to rules and regulations established by agencies like the CPSC. Even in my short time as a mom, I’ve seen sometimes the most trusted brands issue recalls. Off the top of my head, even after all of the research and recommendations, I can think of at least three items we’ve purchased that have had some kind of recall.

I know 20% off a new crib may not be much in terms of defraying costs for big ticket purchases (vs. free second-hand items,) but in my opinion, you can’t put a pricetag on your kid’s safety and well being.

Prior to the kid’s arrival, I had a debate with my parents about the safety of the beautiful, but second-hand crib they purchased for the nursery at their house. Not knowing the history of the drop-down crib and other second hand products they bought, I felt extremely uncomfortable.

This Spring, because of the ongoing safety hazards, Toys “R” Us said they have stopped ordering drop-side cribs because of safety concerns.

To my fellow new moms and dads, in addition to all of those wonderful recommendations you receive from family and friends, please continue to do your homework before buying baby and kid products. (Baby Bargains by Alan and Denise Fields is more than just a bargain resource, with its excellent rating system, I consider it a bible.)

Big kudos to TRU for helping consumers to filter out potentially unsafe baby products and the option to purchase safer alternatives. I’m hoping other retailers follow TRU’s direction to give more new parents a chance to provide a safe and healthy environments for all babes.
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Ahead of the curve: Stride Rite SRT

It’s the end of August, and with many kids going back to school, families are taking advantage of the end of the summer and back to school sales. Undoubtedly, many parents are shoe shopping with bargains in mind. My favorite stops for name brand, yet inexpensive shoes are the outlets, Marshalls and DSW. Over on Babyrific, I blogged about how the kid absolutely adores his new shoes so much that he’s taken a liking to tap dancing. Said shoes are a pair Nickelodeon Slimers from Stride Rite that I picked up from Marshalls for less than half their original price from last season.

logo_01To be honest, we went through at least 4-5 pairs of sandals this summer because of my choice to go cheap and convenient.  The kid often fell while he was running, slipped on the shaky bridge at the park and we even had to buy shoe glue to revive a short-lived pair.  Last summer, we bought ONE pair of sandals.  Not surprisingly, I bought them from the Stride Rite outlet.

Bargains are always my priority, but I’m a still a big believer in paying a little more for quality shoes, while maximizing our dollars, which is why our kiddie sneakers of choice are usually Stride Rite. The kid’s very first pair of sneakers were Stride Rite; instead of buying many pairs of sneakers while he was learning to walk, his Stride Rites lasted him until he outgrew them.  (Isn’t that how it should be?) Those first shoes while learning to walk are so important. The quality, durability and comfort of other kid shoes pales in comparison.

According to some research compiled by SR, consider this:

  • Shoes that do not fit properly in childhood can contribute to poor foot development, which can lead to bone, back and muscle problems later in life.
  • When learning to walk, babies flex their feet 25,000 times a day. Their toes need a full range of motion and the mid foot needs support to prevent over flexion.
  • From ages 1 – 10, a child’s foot grows around 6 inches, nearly 1.5 times the size they were at birth. This is why children need new shoes every 2 – 3 months until about age 3, then every 6 months after that

It’s no WONDER, at almost 2 years old, the kid has almost as much shoes as his shoe-loving mama!


Leave it up to Stride Rite, they seem to always be ahead of the curve. This time, Stride Rite has launched Sensory Response Technology.  According to the company, this new technology for children’s footwear was:

developed in conjunction with the Leon Root, M.D. Motion Analysis Laboratory at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, improves the way a child learns to walk via a sensory feedback system, an ultra-flexible design that allows for more freedom of movement, and a unique construction that reduces the number of stumbles and falls.

srt profile

If only these shoes were out last year when the kid was learning how to walk!  As loyal Stride Rite customers, shoes with the SRT technology definitely sound like shoes that our family would invest in.  Since I unfortunately had to miss this press event, I’ve yet to see the different styles in person, or test them out myself.  But, if we do have a chance to get our hands on a pair, I’ll be sure to share a full review!  In the meantime, check out one of Stride Rite’s promo pieces on SRT’s features and benefits.


How about you guys?  What brands/kinds of shoes, if any, do you swear by?  I’d love to hear ’em!

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Thank goodness Max said yes!

Woodstock, the music festival that was said to define a generation, celebrated its 40th anniversary over the weekend.  The music festival that took place at a farm in Upstate New York made music history when it brought together rock legends for three days of peace, love and music.  Forty years after Woodstock many of the original attendees still reminisce, but now, they share their stories with their kids…and for some, their kids’ kids.


But beyond experiencing Woodstock in person 40 years ago, what better way to share the monumental event with other generations that with an illustrated children’s book!  Max Said Yes! The Woodstock Story by Abigail Yasgur  and Joseph Lipner and Barbara Mendes (Illustrator) is a book that tells the story of how Woodstock came to be.  Before Jimi, Janis and other rock legends hit the stage, the venue—the most important element—was in question.  So, thank goodness Max said Yes!

“One farmer did not think the same
And Max Yasgur was his name.
He raised cows, sold milk and cheese.
He liked kids with big ideas like these.”

And thanks to Max, August 15, 16 and 17, 1969 will forever be remembered as not only the music festival that defined a generation, but as a time where peace, love and music ruled all.  It’s this happier kind of history that all kids should know about!

Bugging Out at the Bronx Zoo

With illness always lingering, especially in a time where the H1N1 virus often makes headlines than not, Kleenex and The Motherhood partnered together to spread the word about the Battle of the Bug campaign. Last Friday, together with a group of NYC/NJ-area bloggers, I was invited to participate and learn more about the Battle of the Bug campaign.

It’s Wellness Wednesday over here on NKT, what perfect timing to share more about Kleenex’s Battle the Bug campaign.


The Battle the Bug tour has been making its rounds and spreading the word on how to combat and avoid sickness. The tour made its way to the Bronx Zoo where we whacked bugs, got “sneezed on” and even had photo opps with the big blue bug and reinforced that ongoing battle of keeping our kids healthy.

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As families begin to fulfill their school shopping lists, it’s no doubt that boxes of tissues and hand sanitizer will find their way into many shopping carts. But in addition to the usual supplies, Kleenex tapped Jean Grabeel, to arm families with helpful tips and tactics on staying healthy all year.

Did you know

Grabeel, the Executive Committee member of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), has been the Coordinator for Health Services for the Springfield Missouri Public Schools. Grabeel, who has been a healthcare professional for close to 30 years, highlighted a few techniques on how to Battle the Bug:

  1. Help kids understand the importance of washing hands

    • -washing in between fingers is just as important too!
  2. Teach kids the importance of covering their nose and mouths when sneezing

    • -use tissues (Kleenex’s anti-viral tissues are said to kill 99.9% of cold and flu viruses
    • -use the interior of their arm to cover nose/mouth and not their hands
  3. If kids have signs or symptoms of illness, STAY HOME

    • -signs include temperature over 100 degrees
    • -vomiting
    • -diarrhea
    • -kids should stay home until sickness and the symptoms subside.

When you sneeze, over 100,000 droplets go into the air at once at 200 mph and can reach up to 3 ft.
Knowing those details, why wouldn’t you cover your nose and mouth? Yuck!


Grabeel noted that if kids don’t cover their noses and mouth when sneezing, it obviously increases the the possibility of spreading those nasty bugs, especially because of kids’ lack of social distancing. In your face, all the time.

The moms in attendance all asked a variety of questions, but Kimberly’s question regarding the safety of hand sanitizers caught my attention, particularly because I try to avoid alcohol-based sanitizers. Grabeel suggested that the these hand sanitizers are safe, and that even the CDC recommends using them. Though I”ll continue to use our natural sanitizers, I’ll keep in mind that the other stuff should be just fine too.

And finally, perhaps one most helpful suggestions that Grabeel offered was for parents to help keep their kids healthy is to be in communication with school health professionals. Grabeel said that school nurses and other health professionals are the best advocate for keeping our kids healthy.


There won’t be a pop quiz later, but keeping the kidlets healthy is enough motivation to enforce the importance of battling the bug. Don’t forget: wash your hands, cover your mouths and if you’re sick, stay home!

Kleenex truck

Full disclosure: Though not affiliated with Kleenex, I was compensated for this event.

Hip Hip Hooray for Cynthia Rowley

Famed designer Cynthia Rowley, known for her vibrant, yet simple designs, is teaming up with Babies “R” Us to launch a line of exclusive baby basics. The collection, called Hooray, will include baby essentials such as layette, diaper bags, blankets, playwear.

Though this is Rowley’s first foray into the baby products market, this isn’t her first collaboration. A few years ago, Rowley, along with her best friend, teamed with Target to launch a line of home accessories called Swell. A huge fan of that line, many of our bathroom towels and accessories are from the hugely successful Swell collection.


BRU is hoping that Hooray will appeal to the style and budget-conscious shoppers, which I know includes many, if not all, NKT readers. Layette and playwear ranges from $7.99 to $29.99, and bibs, blankets and diaper bags range from $5.99 to $39.99. The first photos of this collection exude such a sweet, simple, yet modern vibe. BRU said the clothes feature a variety of signature prints, plaids, and striped and dotted patterns, that use corduroy and chunky sweater knits–perfect for fall. From the sounds of it, Hooray will be a welcome addition at BRU.

Cybex Strollers Arrive in the U.S.

cybexHere’s a head’s up for you stroller aficionados:  the European brand, Cybex, is making its grand entrance onto the U.S. and Canadian markets.  The high-end strollers look both stylish and functional with its distinctive, bold colors and clean lines.  These umbrella-style strollers are described as being lightweight and travel-friendly, with easy maneuvering and quick-fold function.  Cybex strollers come in the Ruby, Onyx, Topaz and Callisto designs and based on their different functionalities, range from $140-350.

Always one to admire stylish but durable strollers, I’m particularly excited about this cybex-callisto-indigonew line.  Though I have yet to check out these strollers in person, I love the sleek design and the way the stroller seat is higher off the ground than other umbrella strollers.  My favorite of the group, the Callisto, seems versatile and multi-faceted with its various features; it touts a pram function, comfort suspension and a one-pull harness system.  I’d be interested to see how these strollers really withstand city streets and everyday use, which is obviously paramount for families like us.  I love the way the vibrant colors contrast with the light-colored frame. The design is a definite head-turner and reflects its German influence; compared to the umbrella strollers already on the market, Cybex could be the Volkswagen of strollers…or maybe even BMW.

Cybex strollers will be available on August 1st at select retailers.  The Cybex baby carrier will be available later this year as well.  If I ever have a chance to test drive these strollers, I’ll be sure to report back!

Spotted at BlogHer

While at BlogHer, I had the chance to peruse the Expo floor a few times. The Expo floor was basically a trade show for women bloggers that featured products to be used in the kitchen to spiffy vacuums to gold kiwis (based on Tweets, seemed like the belle of the ball!) and of course, the latest and greatest kids’ products.
Lucky me, I got to check out a few products that I’ve blogged about here on NKT.


I took a look at the Complete Air Car Seat that features Safety 1st’s new Air Protect technology. As I envisioned, it’s a sleek-looking car seat that has the hard-to-miss side head cushions. The pictures of this car seat certainly don’t do it any justice, especially the cool brown and orange colored Complete Air car seat which first caught my attention. I liked that it’s not a huge seat, like the one we currently own. This car seat has definitely piqued my interest!


I also spotted the Disney Netpal, the kid-friendly laptop that I blogged about last month. Again, it was much cooler in person.  It’s as petite as I imagined, but not overly kiddie-centric at all. The rep. at the booth walked me through a lot of its functions and reiterated its kid-friendliness.  After speaking to her, I was sold; I actually want one for myself, now :)  At $350, I thought it was a decent deal for what you get.  At this day and age, electronics, especially ones that are educational and functional for school-aged kids, are a great, if not imperative, investment.