Baby Days: Nighttime Changing Routine

The baby days continue to consume me, both personally and work-wise. After an informative afternoon with famed pediatrician, Dr. Harvey Karp. I was inspired to share our nighttime changing routine, one of my favorite times of the day…for more reasons than the obvious! Find out how we incorporate Stokke, Under the Nile, Badger, CJ’s BUTTer and Fisher Price into our nighttime changing routine.

Earlier this week, I enjoyed a lovely lunch with the amazing Dr. Harvey Karp of Happiest Baby on the Block. I learned so much during the candid conversation over lunch at the book publisher’s NYC office discussing his latest book on sleep. (post to come) And now, with our baby right at 4 months, naturally, there are so many changes going on. He’s turned the corner on sleep, his eating habits are more predictable and his behavior is all around fun.

As a second time mom and mom of a preschooler and infant, I’ve found that the one of the hardest aspects of motherhood is finding balance. Yesterday, for example, finding time to balance the four year old, four month old AND write in between was complicated, to put it nicely. The four year old, like most preschoolers, demanded my attention. The baby sat so quietly for most of the day, but it was the big kid who tested my patience as I tried to make deadlines. Ultimately, something gives, and every time it’s the writing…but, such is life.

And since the baby didn’t get nearly as much attention, I’m SO grateful for our nighttime routine. It’s that one time of day when it’s just baby and me, and we’re both awake, happy and usually relaxed. So, while big bro hangs with daddy, it’s just us for 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted quality time–if we’re lucky.

There’s so many elements that contribute to how fun this can be, but here’s what we’re doing right now:

1. Badger Nighty Night Balm
I can’t get enough of Badger Balm. Truly. I was first introduced to these products via Healthy Child Healthy World. The Bug Balm was the first product we used and now, swear by. And so, when my husband brought home several sample of other balms, I immediately fell in love with even more Badger Balms that I didn’t even know existed! The organic Nighty Nighty Balm is, should I say it, the bomb. In lieu of lotion at night, I use this balm, which has a soft, but wax-like consistency, to give the baby a little post-bath massage. What a life, right? I use this time to help him exercise and stretch those chubberific legs, soothe his arms and then softly massage his chest and back. His coos and smiley face is enough to keep this in my routine. The balm moisturizes well and smells unbelievable. You think the baby smell is awesome? Just add this to the mix. There’s no synthetic fragrances, just chamomile, a little lavender and more. So sweet.

2. Changing Table: Stokke Care
This solid wood changing table from Stokke was our Christmas and Birthday present from my inlaws. While this beautiful piece of furniture deserves its own post, I’ll highlight what makes this such an integral part of our routine.
The first time around, we were city parents who were starved for space. We shrugged off the need for a dedicated changing table and opted for just a changing pad that we threw anywhere to do the job. After over two years of changing anywhere and everywhere our backs ached and that changing pad was practically crumbling for so much usage and handling.

So, this time around, when we were asked what we needed, we said nothing…EXCEPT a changing table. So, why the Care? Aside from the fact that it matches our Stokke Sleepi System, it’s multifunctional and grows with the baby like several of Stokke’s other products. After the diaper-changing days, the Care can be turned into a desk. (I know, right?)  The Care changing table boasts a lot of storage space and is compatible to various heights–perfect for taller parents. (Our backs are thanking us this time around!) The side compartments are just as convenient as the storage baskets that sit atop two shelves. As a cloth diaperer, the storage area is ample for my stash, as well as our bountiful inventory of baby toiletries and acoutrements. This is my most used baby staple, and one that I’m thrilled will truly grow with us!

3. CJ’s BUTTer
Heh. I said butt. Ok, got that out… So, both of my children much like other members of my immediate family, have extremely sensitive skin. Finding a diaper rash cream or ointment that REALLY works and doesn’t use toxins or harmful chemicals can be next to impossible. Burt’s Bees is my usual go-to diaper cream; in fact, the big kid was fond of eating it when my back was turned. Unfortunately, Burt’s Bees isn’t cloth diaper friendly. Thankfully, with cloth diapering, we don’t see too much diaper rash or irritation, but it’s when we switch over to disposables when we’re on the go or on laundry days, the irritation sometimes arises. CJ’s BUTTer which I’ve always seen on cloth diapering sites as a great option for diaper ointment, was sent to me as a sample in a Bluum Box. It was love after first swipe. The ingredients are all natural, it’s made with love by a small company, it works well and can be used beyond diaper rash (for black/mixed hair to separate locks? who knew!) It moisturizes and seals the irritated areas and I love that it contains essential oils. CJ’s BUTTer is my new go-to for diaper ointment.

5. Hooded Bath Towel: Under the Nile
This thick, luscious hooded baby towel is made from organic Eygptian cotton and you can totally tell. It’s both soft and durable and surpasses the quality and texture of the thin baby towels we received from the big kid’s baby shower. We have tons of baby towels, but honestly? This Under the Nile towel is the one I grab every time.  And bonus, my photographer friend, Maegan Dougherty, who has photographed our family many times pre-baby #2, shot some pics for Under the Nile’s clothing line, which can be seen on the front page.  Nice, right?

5. Fisher Price Giggle Gang
Another stuffed toy and one that laughs? Ha! Yes…but this one is too cute to pass up. It’s just a round, vibrant plush toy that giggles when you press it’s belly and it’s contagious and chewable! I have a video review of these guys coming up, but I couldn’t not include him on here because we keep Fuzzy on our changing table to distract Mr. Squirmy baby. Laughs all around!

6. Badger Baby Oil
For our first kid’s baby shower, I received several containers of baby oil. I honestly had no idea what to use it for, so I never really used it. This time around I find myself using it as often as I can. I use it in diaper wipe solution, for dry skin patches and most often after bath on baby’s scalp to help avoid cradle cap. I use just a tiny drop and it works so well. I’ve read articles that say to AVOID using oils on the baby’s head, but alas, this is something I still do and have no issues whatsoever. With with calendula and chamomile, the Badger Baby Oil smells so lovely, I love using it at night to complement the Nighty Night balm. Bonus: I love to include it in so many of my baby shower gift baskets because it not only lasts forever, but it’s a great alternative to the more questionable products in the baby aisle.

There are so many products out there, and many more that we use, but these few just so happen to be the ones we use in our current routine. All of them are fun, sustainable and worthy of sharing!

Full disclosure: the changing table was a gift from family, but all of the other products were either items in a swag bag, samples from a company for review or samples obtained from my husband’s employer, which has no direct affiliation with NKT. As always, all opinions on NKT are mine.

3 Sprouts Storage Bins are Sustainable and Cute

Last week’s Spring cleaning post was a perfect reminder that, not only do we have to finish our remodel so we can dig the rest of our stuff out of storage, but that we also need to organize the entire house—the playroom included.  Toys, toys and more toys!  I’m sure many of you can relate to the toy storage debacle.

Beyond the imminent purging that goes along with Spring cleaning, I’m on the lookout for sustainable, yet functional storage options for the kid’s playroom.

I first spotted these incredibly adorable storage bins from 3 Sprouts at Toy Fair a few months ago.  The cute pink and blue elephants first caught my eye, but it was the eco-friendly composition and functionality of these bins that completely drew me in.

These circular bins are made of organic cotton canvas and the details are felt appliques made from recycled plastic bottles.  At 17.5″ in height and 17″ in diameter, the bins are roomy enough for laundry and ideal for mounds of toys.  When the laundry or toys don’t require storage, the bins can be folded and tucked away.  Roomy, cute and compact!

The designs of the animals are simple,  modern, and positively cute.  The owl, a prevalent trend in kid prints from last year, is one of my faves. I’m also loving the raccoon’s mysteriousness and that sly fox can’t be overlooked.  Also? How cute are their caddies?  Fill it all with books or layette, and all of the above are baby shower-worthy, without a doubt.

3 Sprouts storage bins retail around $39 and can be found online and in specialty stores, including one my fave NYC boutiques, giggle.

ImagiPlay Dinosaur Puzzle Play Merges Puzzles, Activity Fun

Puzzles are well known activities that involve cognitive development, problem solving and hand-eye coordination for children of all ages.  Better yet, puzzles are awesome activities that can engage the whole family.  Who doesn’t love an activity that promotes brain power and team work?



ImagiPlay, a toy company that creates sustainable toys and games, has found a way to combine an activity set and a puzzle with their Dinosaur Puzzle Play.  The Dinosaur Puzzle Play is comprised of 13 puzzle pieces that are made of rubberwood.  When not being used as a puzzle, the pieces double as wooden dinosaur play pieces.



My dinosaur-loving preschooler recently acquired an interest in puzzles, so ImagiPlay’s Dinosaur Puzzle Play is such a fitting new activity.  The kid had a fun time with dad, putting the puzzle together over and over, and then going on to exercise their imagination to play a little Jurassic Park on their own terms, with a little help of some colorful dinos.  I appreciate the quality wood pieces, colorful and imaginative design, and the very reasonable price point.  ImagiPlay toys, always a perfect addition to our toy box, has great lineup of toys that would make great holiday gifts.  Don’t be surprised if you see more ImagiPlay on the NKT holiday gift guide.



Speaking of gifts, want a Dinosaur Puzzle Play for your kids?  Please comment below and tell me which ImagiPlay product you’d love to check out.


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Want to do some early holiday shopping?  ImagiPlay has kindly offered NKT readers a 20% discount from their website.  Just enter Play420 to receive a 20% discount from their website.  The coupon code is valid for 30 days and is only available in the U.S.


Full disclosure: I received a product sample to facilitate this review.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.


Review: 365 Everyday Value Baby Diaper from Whole Foods

Because the husband works in the health and beauty sector, and as someone who reviews children’s products, our family has been so fortunate to get our hands on the latest and greatest in consumables, among other things.  Some of these products are just eh, while others are a good fit for our family; take for example, the 365 Everyday Value Diapers.

The 365 Everyday Value Diapers, Whole Food’s store-branded diapers, recently changed their product by improving their sizing, securing a better fit and living up to their name by lowering the pricepoint.  Their diapers are made with chlorine free materials, are hypo-allergenic, latex free, and contain no perfumes or dyes, which are extremely important factors for many families.  It’s true, way too many disposable diapers end up in our landfills.  But let’s face it, not everyone can cloth diaper all the time.  And because 365 Everyday Value Diapers are chlorine, dye and latex free, they’re gentler on baby’s skin, and they are less harmful to the environment, making them a more sustainable choice for disposables.

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Modern Playhouse Debuts Modular Play Structures

I’ve been more MIA than usual the past few weeks since we’re finally in our “new” old house.  As part of our ongoing renovation and the eventual move-in, I’ve been researching ideas for the kid’s playroom.

There’s so many options, so many ideas, but only so much budget to go around.  I know the hurricane may or may wreak havoc on some parts of the east coast, what better time to share a new option for indoor playhouses.












Modern Playhouse recently debuted their new line of minimalist and sustainable indoor modular play structures.  Designed by momprenuers and San Francisco based designers Gitane Royce and Nisreen Witt, the playhouses were designed to be durable and safe for the children and environment.  Modern Playhouse uses FSC Certified wood products that are treated with non-toxic, non-formaldehyde containing, and naturally pigmented finishes. The metal fasteners and hardware contain no lead.

The Playhouses, which come in the Wedge or Circle option, also have furniture accessories that can be purchased separately.



I love the simplicity, yet contemporary edge to these playhouses, and their sustainable features make them even more attractive.  These gorgeous playhouses would be a great fit in our new playroom, but alas, at $1450, it’s not quite in the budget right now.

Sale alert: Hape Toys at Mini Social

I’ve pledged my affinity for a variety of sustainable toys, among them, of course, are the fun and educational toys from Hape.  Hape has a fantastic selection of toys that’s appropriate from babies to school-aged kids, but I personally covet their educational playsets and wooden puzzles.











Speaking of puzzles, today on The Mini Social, one of my favorite flash sale sites, is featuring Hape’s bendable Anamalz, Sporty E-racers and educational puzzles.  It looks like some of the toys are half off for a few days, making them great for stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts.  You do have to sign up, but the sales on The Mini Social are well worth it.

The Little Seed Blooms at Target

Soleil Moonfrye and Paige Goldberg Tolmach, the eco-savvy moms behind the LA-based boutique, The Little Seed, have teamed up with Target to distribute their line of organic baby clothes.  The Life Saver-hued baby line, a shift from neutral and pastel colors that are usually associated with organic baby items, is comprised of layette necessities such as hooded towels, onesies, pull on pants, baby hats and baby booties.











According to LA Time’s All the Rage blog, it looks like, The 100% organic cotton line is reasonably priced, ranging from $7.99 to $12.99.

The Little Seed items at are available online and in Target stores now.


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NKT Favorite Sunblock Make EWG Top-Rated List

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!  Our family celebrated our country’s independence, perhaps, just like most of you: with tons of fun in the sun, fireworks and good times with friends and family.

Photo Credit: Illuminate Life

I know much of the east coast right now is enduring really steamy weather and with this weekend’s festivities in mind, I thought it’d be a good time as any to share some thoughts about sunscreen. 

Since becoming a parent, I’ve learned so much that I didn’t already know about sunscreen, particularly how it expires, some of those pricey brands are nothing but bottles of toxic lotion and how so many different kinds just are not suitable for the kids.

Earlier this year, the Enivornmental Working Group, released the fourth annual list of their best rated sunscreens.  The nonprofit research organization that says they aim to use information to protect human health and the environment, say their top-rated sunscreens all contain the minerals zinc or titanium. EWG says these types of sunscreen are best for people who are looking for UVA protection without any chemicals considered to be a potential hormone disruptor, and for like-minded parents, these details are pertinenent when selecting sunscreens that work best for our family.  Not-so-surprising observation here:  not a single spray sunblock makes their list

It’s important point out this staggering statistic: 
EWG researchers recommend only 39, or 8 percent, of 500 beach and sport sunscreens on the market this season.

As a full disclosure here, I’m sure I mentioned before that my husband works in the health and beauty sector as a warehouse planner for a big box store, thus I get to try out many great brands (and not so great ones, t00).  When summertime rolls around, I’m always on the lookout for the samples of the “better” sunblock, meaning those brands that aren’t laden with chemicals that I don’t want to slather over the kid’s super-sensitive skin.

EWG’s list this year included many of those brands that I considered tried and true, particularly my two favorite brands for the kid:  Blue Lizard and TRUKids.  Both brands were samples that I came across from husband’s work and haven’t strayed since.  They’re staples in my beach bag and I’m super happy to see them on the EWG top-rated sunscreen list.

Last year, in fact, I reviewed TRUKid’s Sunny Days, which received a 1 overall score from EWG’s rating system.

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Bamdino Plates and Bambu Utensils Make Picnics Greener

One of the best parts of spring and summer is the joy that is eating outdoors.  In fact, tomorrow celebrates just that!  June 18th marks national picnic day.

With keeping sustainability in mind, paper plates and plastic forks and spoons have gone by the wayside for many families.  So, besides using reusable picnic gear, what’s a family to do?

Go the bamboo route.








Yes, bamboo!

Bamboo, well known for its ability to grow quickly and decompose just as fast, has become one of the most sustainable materials out there…and that goes for kid plates and utensils.  As much as I dislike the idea of disposable gear, sometimes, for the picnic or beach, there’s no way of getting around it.

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MobiGo Review and Giveaway: VTech Introduces New Handheld Learning System


VTech has introduced  a new handheld learning system to its lineup of electronic learning toys.  I had the chance to get a glimpse of the MobiGo at Toy Fair, but got an even closer look at the unit this week before it officially hits the shelves.

The MobiGo is packed with features, including touch screen technology, sliding screen and is web-enabled via USB.

The MobiGo retails for $59.99, which is comparable to other handheld systems in this category.  In addition to the touch screen technology that mimics that of mom and dad’s iPhones and smartphones, what sets the MobiGo apart is its flip-up screen.  That feature made quite a few heads turn when we were toting the MobiGo around this week.

The MobiGo has a variety of game cartridges (19.99) and a carrying case (14.99).  The system is available in the blue/yellow or a pink/purple option.

Vtech MobiGo at ToyFair Read More