Thursday, February 28, 2008

Britax Car Seats On Sale

Britax car seats are on sale, for one week only! We have 3 Britax car seats! First, we bought the Decathlon for Allie to use as a convertible car seat. Then, when we got our truck and we bought our second the Boulevard, because of the additional head support. When Jack was born we bought him the Companion to replace Allie's pink Graco infant car seat. I have loved all three of the Britax car seats, their saftey ratings are some of the best on the market and they are super easy to install, whether or not you are using the latch or the seat belts. Now that we have moved Jack into the convertible seat he is using Allie's old Britax Decathlon. I wouldn't trade my Britax for any other care seat.
Britax has strict regulations about on-line pricing of their car seats and as a result only allows sales a couple of times a year. This is one of those times and they are currently on sale at a significant discount of up to 20% off. Check out (the sale ends 3/2/08). Sorry about the late notice on this.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

To Cloth Diaper or Not?

Like most of the moms who are reading this, I am always looking for ways to save some money and I am also looking for ways to be a "greener" family. This brings me to my question for anyone who is reading this. Has anyone tried cloth diapering or better yet does anyone use cloth diapers?

I am considering switching Jack to cloth diapers, the ones that I am leaning toward are bumGenius I really like the fact that these diapers grow as your baby grows and boy oh boy does Jack grow quickly.
What I am wondering from all you out there is, have you tried bumGenius or any other cloth diaper and how have you liked them?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

You Just Have to Check This Site Out

Tonight I was cruising the internet and came across Lemons and Lollis, OH MY GOODNESS, the clothes on this site are absolutely amazing, so, so cute. Here are just some of my favorites.

Bibs, burp cloths, hair clips, they have it all.

This is a super cute baby blanket... how cute!
You just have to check this site out for yourself, they have so many cute things. I see baby shower gifts in my future!

Friday, February 22, 2008

I am so excited about my newest review, Earth Mama Angel Baby. With all the recent news about phthalates in baby care products and their possible links to various health problems, I decided that I wanted to do some research and find a product line that was both phthalate free and organic (since I am already using organic care baby care products for the kids). In doing my research, I found a great website Hud Pages: How to avoid Phthalates in Baby Care Products. This site was great; it gave a list of companies that are phthalate free. In the end, I decided to go with Earth Mama Angel Baby (EMAB). I decided on this company for many reasons, first of all because their products are phthalate free and organic and I also really like their commitment to mothers and babies. EMAB offers many resources for breastfeeding moms both in their extensive breastfeeding product line and through out the site with the Mama Says quotes.

Well, here it is my review of the Angel Baby Bottom Balm and the Angel Baby Shampoo and Body Wash.

First of all, I have to warn you not to be shocked when you get your Bottom Balm, mine came in the mail (I hadn't seen it in person, I ordered it online) and I was shocked at how small it was (2oz jar). But, remember good things come in small packages. This balm is very concentrated and you truly only need a tiny bit, unlike many of the other products on the market. This EMAB Bottom Balm smells great and so far I am very happy with it; I have used it as intended, on Jack's bottom and I have been using it on his winter eczema. I have already seen an improvement in the eczema, I had been using Aquaphor Baby and I hadn't had any luck getting it to clear. I also started to use it on Allie's super dry winter skin. She has been constantly itching this winter, and I have noticed that her skin is less dry feeling after just the first several initial uses.

I also bought the Earth Mama Angel Baby Shampoo and Body Wash, this too has a wonderful botanical scent. This is a gentle and real castile soap, which has no foaming agents added, so they have packaged it in a great self foaming bottle. This is NOT a no tear formula, so be sure to extra care near your babies eyes. I really like this baby wash, the scent is much more pleasing than the wash I was using previously. The self foaming bottle is much easier to use than most bottles that you have to squeeze to get the wash from. I was able to use this one handed while giving Jack a bath in the kitchen sink. I noticed that my hands felt less dry at the end of the bath, so I can only imagine how it will help his skin over time.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Z Recs Has Done It Again!

Z Recs has done it again with their report on BPA in baby products. They have done a super job of researching more items such as bottles, pacifiers, utensils, pumping supplies and feeding aids. They have also included more information on both the companies that they have covered in the past and new companies, not previously covered.

This report is incredibly detailed, just as their past reports have been. Kudos to Z Recs! Make sure you check out the link below to view their report.

The Z Report on BPA In Infant Care Products, Third Edition

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What Are Pthalates?

Pthalates...Have you heard of them? Up until recently I had never heard of them either, but now they are just one of the many things that as parents we need to be aware of. Phthalates are a class of chemicals that are added to children's plastic toys to make them more flexible. They are also found in many household, personal care products, and medical supplies.

To find out more about Pthalates and how you can avoid them, check out this link.

Check Out My Widget

New things are happening, I have added a widget feature to my page. To get my blog as a widget, click on the black widget box on the lower right side of this blog. You will then be able, to put the widget onto your favorite place, like your iGoogle homepage, myspace, facebook, add it to your blog or many others. This way you will stay up to date with my blog from all your favorite places. Once you have added the widget, would you please rate it for me. Thank you so much! I am in the process of doing several more reviews. I hope you are all enjoying what you are seeing. I would love your imput on the any of the blogs that have interested you and feel free to email me if there is something that you would like to know more about or see me cover. Email me at place4mommies(at)gmail(dot)com

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Born Free Bottles and Sippy Cups

Once I decided to change Jack's daycare bottles to Bisphenol-A-free (BPA-free) bottles I had to decide which bottle I was going to use. I did some research and decided that I wanted bottles from companies that do not use polycarbonate, which leaches BPA. This narrowed my choices to three bottles; Born Free, Green to Grow and Think Baby. My choice came down to what was available locally; I wanted to make the switch over the weekend so that we would be ready for daycare Monday morning. My choice was Born Free; they were available locally at Babies R Us. I have to admit that I was a little taken aback by the price $19.99 for a two pack, but I figured this was important.

One great feature of their bottles is that all the parts are interchangeable from the bottles, trainer cups and drinking cups. This was a big selling point for me because this means that I will be able to change the bottles into trainer cups and then into drinking cups all just by changing the nipple/spouts. Another feature that I like about these bottles are the disc shaped covers that go underneath the colar and nipple to help eliminate leaks. I always seemed to have leaks with my old Avent bottles. So far I am very happy with these bottles and the peace of mind that they give me.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Waddle n Swaddle- Finding the Right Baby Carrier

What a find! This past week as I was getting ready to change Jack from the super-convienent infant car seat carrier to the convertable rear-facing seat, I realized that he nolonger fits in the Baby Bjorn, and the hotsling that I had for Allie has never worked that well with him. So, I was in search of a baby carrier that would work for him both now as a 22 lb. 6 month old and through toddlerhood. I came across the Moby Wrap, and their store locator linked me to Waddle n Swaddle store in Poughkeepsie, New York.

First of all, the owner Jenn Sullivan is very helpful both on the phone and in the store. Before deciding to make the trip out to Poughkeepsie, I called to make sure that they had a variety of carriers in stock; Jenn was really helpful in answering my questions over the phone. From looking through the online store, I had seen that they have a great online selection of baby-wearing carriers; based on the selection and the helpfulness over the phone, I decided to make the hour trek to Poughkeepsie to check out the various carriers.

So off we went, my good friend Melissa (and her two kiddos Lily and Miles), Allie, Jack and I. When we arrived, we were greated by store owner, Jenn. First we got the girls set up in the back playroom, and then I got down to the business of trying on carriers. First, we ruled out the carriers that just wouldn't work for Jack and I; which left us with 3 carriers to try.

The first one I tried was the Storchenwiege Woven Wrap. There was a lot that I liked about this wrap. It is very versital; there were many ways to wrap and use this carrier. It was also comfortable, even with a larger baby.

This wasn't the wrap for me in the end only because I was afraid that the amount of time it would take me to learn how to fully use this wrap just wouldn't work considering that I also have a 2.5 year old as well.

The next was the Beco 4th Generation. This is a structured, ergonomically correct carrier that uses buckles instead of tying. Your baby can be carried in 5 carry positions (cradle, front, hippy seat, hip and back). This carrier can be used for newborns up to toddlers (55 lbs.)

This too was a great carrier, I loved how it was really easy to put on, because of the clips. It was also really comfortable to wear and I LOVED the Pony Express print. In the end, the only con for me was that Jack couldn't be carried forward facing in this carrier and this is a must for me because he loves to see what is going on. Too bad, because I really did love this print.

The final carrier to try was the BabyHawk™ Mei Tai. This is an Asian inspired baby carrier, that can be used front (facing mom), front (facing out), hip and back. I really like the options that this carrier offers and it was easy for me to use. It felt natural for me to get it to tighten and I was able to easily adjust it. I really like that I will be able to use this carrier for quite awhile, I was even able to carry Allie in this carrier. I think that this is going to be a great carrier for us.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Tale of Two Sippys

Okay, so Allie (2.5 years) has now gotten her two new sippy cups.

I got her the Sigg water bottle, 0.4L (13 oz) shown to the left, which has a twist action sport top and mud cap. These bottles are made of non-leaching stainless steel and the company is committed to both safe paint for the outside of their bottles and to using safe materials to make the bottles. All materials used are safe and made of non-leaching materials (no BPA).

"The inside of every SIGG bottle is coated with a proprietary baked-on inner lining that is taste neutral, resistant to fruit acids and isotonic drinks, and guaranteed for easy cleaning and no taste transfer. It is a water-based epoxy resin exceeding FDA requirements and independently tested to prove 0% leaching. The liner is flexible and crack resistant, even if the bottle is dented.
Not all manufacturers of stainless steel or aluminum bottles use a liner. Look for the SIGG logo to be sure you are getting a genuine SIGG with a 100% safe liner." quoted from
Swiss Knife Shop

Allie really likes this cup, she calls it her "big girl cup" We have been using it for a week and so far we haven't had any problems with it leaking. I really like this bottle/cup a lot and I am planning on getting one for myself, Matt and Jack (when he is ready for it). There are so many diffent designs, sizes and types that you can get... there is DEFINATELY a bottle for everyone.


  • These cups have lots of designs to choose from to personalize the cup for each child. They have several different top designs to choose from.
  • We found the 0.3L to be better for babies/young toddlers and the 0.4L to be better for older toddlers.


  • The ActiveBottle sports cap is difficult for young children to use and I would recommend using it for children at least 5 years old. To drink from the ActiveBottle sports cap, you need to give it a small twist and press the top down with your mouth - there's no need to touch the mouthpiece with your fingers. A wide opening creates maximum flow for the drink. When you set the bottle down, the mouthpiece closes automatically and the top is sealed once again.
  • In the winter we found that the outside of the cup gets very cold. They do make a pouches that fit both the 0.3L and the 0.4L bottles; this would help.`

The second cup that we got Allie was the
Safe Sippy by Kid Basix. This is also a great cup, the design and style is much different from the Sigg bottle. However it too is made from non-leaching stainless steel and the company is very committed to safe products for our babies and children. This cup is more of a standard "sippy cup", eventhough it looks like it has a straw it is really a sippy spout. Therefore the cup needs to be tilted back to drink from. The Safe Sippy comes with the handles pictured, which are removable and it has a Thermoplastic Rubber Sleeve, which provides insullation both for the liquids that are inside and for the little hands that are holding the cup. This cup also has a straw like spout which is supposed to be better for developing mouts, than the more traditional wide spout designs.


  • This cup is well made and designed. I like that the consulted with speech developement experts to get the best design possible.
  • The Thermoplastic Rubber Sleeve- that keeps liquids cold and little hands comfy.
  • Their website has a store locator. I bought mine at Bellani Maternity in Warwick, RI (Thanks Meg, for picking this up for me!)
  • The choice of choice of colors pink/orange, blue/orange, and green (teal)/orange.


  • This cup is difficult to get at this time. Many sites that I checked were on backorder.
  • Younger children may have a little bit of a harder time with this cup because you need to drink from it with the spout facing away from you. Allie figured it out quickly, without needing help; however I could see that she would have possibly had a more difficult time when she was younger.
  • I did find that the cup does leak but ONLY if you aren't sure to screw the cap on securely.

Monday, February 4, 2008

What is Bisphenol A?

What is Bisphenol A?
Excerpt from Safe Mama:
Bisphenol A is a hormone-mimicking chemical used in polycarbonate plastics and resins commonly used for items such as shatterproof baby bottles. Bisphenol has estrogenic properties which, in animal tests has shown to cause a bevy of health problems such as an increase in prostate and breast cancer, uro-genital abnormalities in male babies, a decline in semen quality in men, early onset of puberty in girls, metabolic disorders including insulin-resistant (Type 2) diabetes and obesity and neurobehavioral problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Research is showing that when plastic containers, mostly those used to hold liquids and foods, are leeching Bisphenol into the foods and liquids they are holding. Heating food and liquids with these plastics is shown to increase the leeching of this contaminate.
Many companies use this chemical in their packaging including cans, soda cans, and plastic food containers. There is a risk of absorbing this chemical through the use of containing foods and liquids but can also leech into our water systems through landfills.
Many leading experts argue that the use of Bisphenol is safe to the human public but research may begin to further prove otherwise.

Excerpt from Wikipedia:
“Bisphenol A has been known to leach from the plastic lining of canned foods and, to a lesser degree, polycarbonate plastics that are cleaned with harsh detergents or used to contain acidic or high-temperature liquids.[16] Infants fed with liquid infant formula have among the highest exposures of anyone eating canned foods. Infants fed canned formula with polycarbonate bottles can consume quantities of Bisphenol A up to 13 µg/kg/day.”

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cheat Sheet for BPA free Bottles, Teethers, Pacifers and Sippy Cups

BPA Free Bottles

~Born Free Bottles
~Green to Grow
~Think Baby Bottles
~Wee•go Glass Baby Bottles
~Evenflow Glass Baby Bottles
~Nuby Baby Bottles
The 3 Stage Non-Drip Standard Neck Bottle is an affordable BPA free alternative.

BPA Free Pacifiers

~Playtex “Binky” (one piece silicone pacifier)
~Gerber Silicone NUKs (All Gerber pacis are free of polycarbonate plastic)
~The First Years Soothies Silicone Paci’s
~Vice Versa Binky w/ Case
~Natural Rubber Natursutten Paci

BPA Free Teethers

~Sassy Jelly Fish Teethers
~Sassy Coolin’ Teether
~Sassy Chilly Dilly Daisy
~Luv n’ Care Icy Bite Teether
~Nuby Jiggle Giggle Teethers (cow and butterfly)
~Nuby NibblerNuby Ice Gel Teether Keys on a Ring
~Nuby Bug-A-Loop Teether
~Je Je Vibrating Teether (rubber)
~Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether
~Vulli Chan Pie Gnon Teethers
~Comfort + Joy Teether (coming soon)
~Leapfrog Gentle Vibes teether
~Sassy Buzz n’ Bites teether

Sippy Cups


~The Safe Sippy
~Born Free Training Sippy Cup
~Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Reusable Bottles
~Foogo Sippy Cups and Straw Bottles by Thermos

The Soft Landing Blog also has a great list of Nuby BPA Free products. Becareful though because some of the Nuby cups have PBA in the lids.

*This list contains the BPA Free products that I am aware of. If there is a product not on here, it does not mean it’s not safe. Inquire with the toy maker about materials used if you are unsure. If you see that a product is not listed here that should be please let me know so that I can add it.

For my favorite websites to buy PBA free products check out my list to the right of this blog.

Websites/Blogs that I uses to reference this shopping list Z Recommends and The Soft Landing

Bisphenol-A in Baby Bottles/Sippy Cups/Water Bottles (Video Clip)

This is what started it all for me, my mom saw this segment on Good Morning America about Bisphenol-A (BPA) and so did my friend Missie. Go to SafeMama to watch the segment.

"A new study was conducted by the University of Cincinnati recently that found Bisphenol-A (BPA) can leach into liquids when boiling water was added to polycarbonate containers. The new study revealed it’s the liquids temperature that has the effect."

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Making Homemade Baby Food

There are many reasons to make your own baby food. The first and most important is that it is best for your baby; it's also as easy if not easier than making your own dinner, and it is cheaper than buying baby food.

Making your own baby food is best for your baby because you know exactly what is going into the food. If you are making your own organic baby food it will be cheaper than buying the major organic baby food brand which where I live averages 99 cents a jar. If you are concerned about allergies, this is the way to go. You can control everything that goes into the food and be sure that there are no cross contaminations of allergens.

All you need to get started is a food processor, covered ice cube trays, which you can get at any major home store like Linens n' Things or Bed Bath and Beyond or at and of course the food and a liquid (either breast milk or formula) to mix in to thin out the food mixture. Whole cows milk should not be used until 12 months of age.

My favorite website for making baby food is This site is great because they have charts on when to introduce different foods and many different recipes. When I first made food for my daughter Allie this site took a lot of the guesswork out of making the food. I usually make a bunch of different purees on the weekend and then freeze them. Once they are frozen, I pop them out of the trays and keep them in ziplock freezer bags; that way they are easy to use.

Information in this blog is not medical advice and you should always remember to check with your pediatrician on when it is best to start solid foods and in which order food should be introduced.

Carseat Safety

cToday in my search for BPA free bottles/pacifiers/sippy cups/water bottles I can across this website and they sell a fleece poncho that is designed to be used for your child while they are in the car instead of wearing their coat. I always have Allie take off her coat when riding in the car and I cover her with a blanket and Jack has been in a bundle me. This however looks like it might keep them warmer, however they are a little pricey. They have some really cute girl patterns like the one below, but they are lacking on boy prints. Maybe a blanket will work just as well.

"Safety experts agree: wearing a coat in a car seat is a big safety no-no. The Car Seat Poncho is an easy-to-use solution, eliminating the hassle and hazard of a bulky winter coat. Moms can dress their children in a flash, secure them safely, and be on the road in no time."
quote from

Bottle/Sippy/Sport plastic containers that you drink from

A friend of mine emailed me the following email. She had heard a piece on the news and decided to do a little investigating and this is what she found. Take the time to read the email and read the links, I think you will be as shocked as I was. This information horrifies me, I can't believe that companies use this kind of plastic in containers that we put food and drinks in, let alone the fact that our children use them. Today on my way home I bought new Born Free bottles (for daycare) and NUK pacifiers for Jack. The PBA free bottles aren't cheap, I spent $19.99 for a two pack and the Green To Grow are priced about the same. Now, I am looking for a new sippy cup/ water bottle for Allie! Right now I am leaning toward the Sigg 0.3 or the 0.4 bottles for Allie to replace her Nalgene sippy cups. These Sigg bottles are $16.99-$19.99, YIKES! I think the initial investment will be worthwhile in the long term. Thank goodnesss I breastfeed and Jack only uses bottles when he is at daycare, this way I am able to get by with 2 Born Free bottles and one of their sippy cups which I switched out the sippy training nipple with one of their regular bottle nipples. All their bottles and sippy parts are interchangeable, which will help cut down on the cost over time; because I can change the bottles into sippies when the time comes.



Well, I tend to be one of those people that thinks that if you resesarch enough, you can find there's something unhealthy about just about everything, so why worry about it? I did think the Thomas Trains that had lead paint was a big deal and sent out an e-mail to people about that when I heard about those recalls. This is the only other topic that has gotten me to take action:

I have been coming across articles about plastic and the hazards of it, and figured that since I stay away from microwaving it, that I was pretty safe. Now though, there are reports of a chemical in hard plastics called bisphenol-A (BPA). It leaches out from just being exposed to hot tap water, running plastics through the dishwasher, or warming bottles in a crock pot (like they do at daycare). This BPA is in so many of the containers I own for the kids from Nalgene sports bottles, Nalgene Sippy's, Avent bottles, Gerber bottles, other various sippy brands, etc. (Check the number in the triangle at the bottom: a 7 is not good, for example.) It causes a myriad of health concerns though studies are not entirely conclusive. If you do a search though, there's enough information that makes me feel like I'd rather be conservative and try to stay away from the BPA products. Here's some of the research I've found:

These sites offer BPA-free alternatives to the standard bottles, sippy's, and sports containers:


SIGG (Sports bottles, kids drink containers, and sippy converters)
We happened upon the SIGG brand by mistake. Larry had to grab a last-minute souvenir for Alexis in Switzerland before his plane took off, and one of these containers was the cheapest thing at the duty-free store (even though it was $15). He already bought a gift for Ollie and could not show up empty-handed for Lexi, so he grabbed it. We researched them recently to see why in the world they cost that much, and it turns out that they are very safe, carefully constructed, and 100% leach-free. They are also the cutest containers ever that are vibrantly colored and have the most adorable images from fire trucks to crocodiles to flowers and Hello Kitty.

The Swiss Knife shop has a free shipping rate on the SIGG stuff. For mommies and daddies, I found a SIGG Metro Mug that insulates cold beverages for 12 hours and hot stuff for 6 hours. There are also cheaper containers that are not quite as insulated. (We find Lexi's containers of the same, more affordable construction keep beverages extremely well chilled for a really long time yet it does not perspire the way a regular cold container would.)

NOTE: The pastel colors don't hold as much in terms of volume as the dark blue and silver containers.

The Swiss Knife shop also has kids drink containers (see graphic below) and sippy handles (see graphic above) to convert the kids bottles for a baby. (They don't have sippy tops though just the standard sports top, so it's more suitable for an older baby.)

The next site for Back Country Edge also has very cute choices for the kids and adult products. Shipping is free if you spend $50.

I found bottles and sippy's on these sites below though if you go to Babies R Us, you can find the Born Free brand there (about $10/bottle and sippy. . .I've only bought one sippy for Sully since they are pricey). I opted for the classic Evenflo glass bottles for him which are about 3/$5. (Daycares sometimes have policies against glass bottles in which case you'd want to go with something like the Born Free non-glass options or the Green to Grow brand.)

So for now, I am packing away all of the plastic stuff into a big Rubbermaid container and storing it in the basement.

Larry and I are surely rich in the number of children we have, and since most of our income goes toward caring for them, it was a very calculated decision to start to make this switch. I think it'll be worth it for the peace of mind. Plus, I have recently switched to not needing Undie Ups at night for our little lady and the baby is switching from formula to milk in a couple of weeks (i.e., money savings). Basically, next month's budget for those things is just being reallocated to the PBA-free items. No big deal.

Let me know if you switch. It's a topic I'm interested in now. Like I said, the research is somewhat conflicting though I find it's overwhelmingly leaning toward the fact that the BPA is something I don't want to fool around with. . . The cancer connection is enough to scare me after my seeing how crappy that is.

Hope this was informative to you!