Are you concerned with the food you put in to your baby’s mouth? Want to know what baby food both tastes good and won’t cost you an arm and a leg? Interested in learning about the latest baby products brought to market (foods, snacks, diapers, creams, wipes)? We might be able to point you in the right direction…
F4F REVIEWS - CAMILIA BY BOIRON - HOLISTIC HELP FOR TEETHING TODDLERS
Teething and toddlers go hand in hand, or so I was told. But my first child (my now 3-year-old daughter) never suffered from any of the discomfort associated with this most common of childhood complaints, so I have to say I was a little caught off guard when my 6-month-old son suddenly began to go through some changes a few weeks back. No, there was no excessive hair growth or howling at the moon (see: Teen Wolf) and there was no walking down the front steps backward on his hands (The Exorcist) - but there was a lot of screaming, and biting, and redness around his face, and hand gestures I thought you needed to be old enough to watch mob movies to learn (fist in mouth, biting down). And then a friend said “he’s teething.” And I realized I was totally unprepared for this.
One day your baby boy is perfectly content, the next he’s a crazed mad man looking to clamp down on anything or anyone that will soothe his sore gums- but what to use? There was my finger, but seeing the look in the little man’s eyes I was worried if I gave it to him I wouldn’t get it back. There were plush toys, but most of them were my 3-year-old daughter’s and she wasn’t willing to give them up. There were teething rings and necklaces I could buy, but why would I buy them when I could just soak a tea towel in water, freeze it and give it to my son (even though that’s messy and who wants to fight a toddler for a tea towel that’s thawing too fast?). And don’t even get me started about cutting up cold fruits and vegetables and placing them in some sort of cheesecloth or mesh feeding contraptions- that’s just time consuming and sticky.
In reality, when your child is teething you want something that works (and work fasts) to calm him and stop the throbbing pain in his little gums. And the truth be told, my first inclination would have been to run out and buy one of those over-the-counter “topical anesthetic” remedies everyone tells you about, although after careful reading I’ve learned that these use chemicals you may not want your child to ingest. So I’m glad I was presented with another option called Camilia, a homeopathic teething remedy from Boiron, a family company that has been making “healthy solutions for common ailments” for 80 years.
“Camilia relieves painful gums, restlessness and the irritability associated with teething for children aged 1-30 months.” It’s pretty much sterile water and some plant extracts in an easy to administer unit dose that can be given to a child quickly and painlessly. No added colors, sugar or preservatives, just an all natural way to ease your child’s suffering from the throbbing toddler torture that is teething.
Did it work for my cranky, flushed-faced little boy? Well, let’s just say it came in handy at 4 a.m. when a teething ring, or a tea towel, or frozen vegetables would have taken a little longer to work than one would want them to. One dose did the trick! And I’ve had a love affair with Camilia ever since.
This product has been Fodder Tested/Father Approved.
Check out more great healthy remedies from Boiron: boiron.ca
F4F REVIEWS: STAR WARS CHARACTER LAMPS FROM FUNKO TOYS
Let's face it, it's not easy to find a really cool nightlight for your baby's bedroom. Yes, monkies and pink elephants are cute, but its been done, so why not find something supercool to light up that nursery instead... My choice, FUNKOTRONICS STAR WARS CHARACTER LAMPS from FUNKO TOYS. Funkify you baby's room with Boba Fett, Darth Vader, a Storm Trooper... or the Dark Knight (different franchise, but still cool). Yes, they might be a bit on the pricy side at an estimated cost of $49.95 each, but you'll certainly pay it once you find out what the baby stores are charging for monkies and elephants.
Available at: Target, Toys'rus, and HMV.
F4F REVIEWS: BABY SLEEPS AIDS
***See full review with links, comments and additional information on our blog: F4F Reviews: Baby Sleep Aids
#1. The Sleep Sheep:
Cost: $25-30 (US)
Stars *** 1/2
Here's a product that's like Teddy Ruxpin with a purpose. No, it's not a teddybear that talks, it's a plush sheep that you hang off the side of the crib (or whatever you can actually get your kid to sleep in) that makes sounds that help your baby feel safe and secure. My daughter never needed it. She found her thumb and she was out thirty seconds later. My son, on the other hand, couldn't fall asleep without it.
The Sleep Sheep makes 4 sounds- a mother's heartbeat, light rain, soft waves and something that sounds like a dying whale. My son prefers the heart beat sounds. And once he gets in to a rhythm he can sleep for the full 45 minutes until the Sleep Sheep turns itself off automatically (it's biggest drawback), but as long as you're close and paying attention, this isn't often an issue, and longer, restful periods of sleep have been known to occur (i.e. keep hitting "repeat" and you'll be okay).
#2. The Miracle Blanket:
Cost: $30 USD
What's The Miracle Blanket? In short, it's a swaddling blanket even Harry Houdini himself couldn't get out of. It just simplifies the "swaddle" so any fool can wrap their kid up nice and tight for the night. Again, this is just another product to make your child feel safe and secure while sleeping in their own bassinet or crib. It keeps them calm, cool and collected. No kicking their way out of it. No freeing their arms. No scratching their faces. This is like a straight-jacket for babies, but one made out of nice soft, breathable fabric that comes in a variety of colors. The instructions are simple and if you follow the directions you should be able to get quite a few hours of sleep out of your boisterous little babe. But every child is different, so you never know, but it's totally worth a shot. But I will warn you- FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. This isn't like putting together Ikea Furniture my friends.
#3. The Fisher Price Newborn Rock ’n Play™ Sleeper:
Cost: $50-60 (US)
Okay, I'll be the first to admit there's a bit of controversy surrounding this last product but nothing that can't be solved with a little common sense and some cleaning instructions. Fisher Price had to recall it in both Canada and the U.S. over a possible moisture problem that could cause mold if the product wasn't cleaned properly and regularly, but once you know the intructions for how to do this, you shouldn't have any issues. A second concern that had been brought up which is also an issue with bassinets and cribs as well (hell for any procuct where a baby is lying stationary on their back for long periods of time) is the possibility of "flat-head." But, this issue can be solved with a little product called the Babymoov Lovenest Pillow (see picture).
Now that we have that out of the way, this product is awesome, no matter what its small drawbacks. Whereas the Sleep Sheep and The Miracle Blanket gave my wife and I a few hours of peace and quiet, The Fisher Price Newborn Rock N' Play Sleeper gave us 12 hours a night for 3 days straight. It must have something to do with the design that kind of looks like someone dropped a bouncy chair inside a bassinet. Your baby sits on slight angle that allow them to sleep but solves all the issues caused by a stuffy nose, or acid reflux. I simply fed my son, burped him, swaddled him, placed him inside and only came back periodically to make sure he was breathing because he was so quiet. It was amazing. It is a life saver for any parent at their wits end due to sleep deprevation and utter frustration at not being able to lull their little one in to slumber. And sure it has it's little problems, but I can't NOT recommend it as it's simply the best baby product ever invented in my book.
***See Also: F4F REVIEWS - THE GRO-CLOCK SLEEP TRAINERS FOR TODDLERS***
THE OFFICIAL "BABYANKEE" FROM INNOVATIVE MOMMAS INC.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Yeah, well, I've seen many a mom come up with a doozie or two when it comes to new products for babies- but hey, we judge each new product on a case-by-case basis. Today we're looking at a new product for infants (preemies and toddlers as well) called "Babyankees" from a Canadian company called Innovative Mommas Inc.
What is it? At first glance it looks like ankle workout weights for babies, but after quickly reading the instructions, I learned they were actually "soft, seamless" bands meant to hold an infant's feet in place whenever they try to wriggle out of their one piece baby get-ups.
What did I think of them? Oddly, it was such a simple idea that I really liked it.
Look, this product isn't for everybody (namely the cheap, people who can sew, and people who probably think industrial elastic bands are a suitable substitute for this well-researched product), but it will come in handy for a specific few: namely, parents with preemies or active infants/toddlers who hate it when their kid's feet don't stay put in their jammies. And it's certainly a novel gift idea for expectant first-time parents (well, beggars can't be choosers, right?). The colors aren't so bad (light blue shown above; also available in pink, white, yellow and turquoise). The sizing is pretty straight-forward (small, medium or large- or because moms like to know things in inches- 6, 7 and 8" sizes are available). They're machine washable. And, if your kids don't end up using them for their intended purpose, you can keep them as hair bands for your daughter, or keep them as wristbands for your son for when he takes up tennis, or cricket, or whatever boys will be into in the future.
All I'm saying is this is a useful product for anyone who REALLY gets peeved when their kid can't fill out their clothing properly. I mean REALLY peeved. Like, they're thinking of actually putting their infants in pants and, gasp, socks. And that's just wrong...
Pricing: Please inquire at http://www.facebook.com/TheOriginalBabyAnkees
BABY PRODUCT OF THE WEEK- The Better Fruit Snacks
We all know how hard it can be to get our toddlers to eat their fruits and veggies. It's often a struggle just to get them to open their mouths long enough to slip by just a single spoonful of anything that could be good for them. So when the real thing is out of the question, we visit the store shelves looking for the next best thing.
So we took our expert, sixteen-month-old Dylan, to the grocery store and let her pick out two comparable products and asked her to do a taste test to see, once and for all, which was the more appealing of the two brands.This "blind" taste test (no blindfold necessary, since she can't yet read) compared the two brands on the criteria of texture, taste, nutrition, ease of use, and presentation. These are the results:
The Better Fruit Snack Taste Test: Mott's Fruitsations vs. Dole Squish'ems
Mott's - The consistency of applesauce, this unsweetened blend of two fruits (strawberry/kiwi in this case) tasted like a sweeter version of the real thing, utilizing real fruit juice to both enhance the colour and taste. True, our expert complained that she was unable to feed this product to herself (her Daddy had to use a spoon), but she still gave high marks for presentation (perfect serving size), taste (it had the right amount of sweetness), and nutrition (30 percent daily source of vitamin C, 5 percent fibre).
Her score: 4 out of 5 fingers- the ones she was licking when she yanked the bowl from her father's hand and started scooping for herself.
Dole - The consistency of the rudimentary paste used in the film, Robocop, this product looked like a Big Gulp once most of the liquid was removed. It was sweet like the Mott's, but it had an aftertaste that was hard for our expert to put her taste buds on. And the flavour left much to be desired- let's just say she was a little confused why "mixed berry" tasted like prunes. However, its soft, easy-to-use squeeze pouch got high marks, allowing young Dylan the freedom to feed herself, and, its nutritious blend of fruit juices and purees provided 100 percent of the daily allowance of Vitamin C (way more than the competition). The problem is she couldn't eat it long enough to consume its nutritional benefits, dropping it on the floor (after the first squeeze), leaving it for the dogs (who wouldn't touch it).
Her Score: 2 out of 5 fingers (thumb and forefinger in L position)
Loving its presentation and ease-of-use, but quickly developing a distaste for its consistency, and flavour, our expert wouldn't even consider the high nutritional benefits of this product, preferring to eat crumbs off the floor instead.
Results - Declaring Mott's Fruitsations to be the hands-down winner, Delicious D (as she likes to be called) says, although she prefers the real thing (fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and kiwi), she'd eat this tasty treat in a pinch.
Try some on your tentative toddler today!
DELICIOUS "D": OFFICIAL TASTE TESTER DISCLAIMER: All opinions are those of a sixteen-month-old child, and in no way reflect the opinions held by Fodder 4 Fathers, its staff, or any of its affiliates.
Caution: Always read the packaging of all engineered food products to ensure they are age appropriate for you child.
DIAPER RASH CREAMS
When choosing the best diaper cream to use on your child, it's important not to be "rash." With so many products on the market to choose from, you could spend hundreds of your hard-earned dollars going from one cream to the next without seeing an iota of improvement from one cream to the next.
Buying diaper cream is almost as painful as watching your wife buy anti-aging cream - the prices vary greatly, the most expensive ones aren't necessarily the best, and all you can do is take the manufacturer's word for it as you shell out ten, twenty, thirty, forty dollars at a time on "a miracluous improvement." At Fodder 4 Father's, we don't buy that strategy. So when you want to know what really works on those red, raw, really nasty rashes, there's only one solution- snoop in your friend's medicine cabinets.
Actually, you'll most likely find what your looking for in the nursery, above the change table, right next to the Q-Tips, baby powder, cotton balls, Vaseline, and a box of unscented, natural baby wipes. That's how you'll know if you're in the right place, as these are tell tale signs of a parent that has waged this particular battle before. Now, don't get them started on the particulars, as some people give a little overboard when endorsing this kind of product. Personally, I don't care for the visual of how red their son's testicles were, or how chapped their daughter's anus was before they used this particular product- I just want to know if it works, so don't give me your opinion, if you think it's so damn good, give me some of the s@#% to try!
Clinical Trials: Diaper Rash Cream
Test Subject (Guinea Pig): "Delicious D," our Resident Reviewer.
Duration: Worst Week of My Life!
Scientific Method: 1) Convince overbearing, overly-cautious friends with toddlers under the age of two to provide free, unmarked samples of what they deem to be the best diaper cream on the market. 2) Try each at different diaper changing intervals during the day. 3) Deem which one works the fastest on reducing redness, cracking, rawness, and the pure putricity of this most heinous of horrendous hardships your child will face. 4) Continue clinical trial for one week to ensure that this was not an anomaly. 5) Suggest it to friends to try, just in case anyone questions your judgment. 6) Get feedback. 7) Have no qualms about endorsing this most wonderful of products that endeavors to eradicate the most woeful of all unappetizing skin agitants/irritants.
Results: After trying several samples of these cold, chafe calming creams on our poor, pruned-skinned, puss prone daughter, we had a decisive winner: Triple Paste, Medicated Ointment, Our F4F "Proven Product Pick of the Week."
Don't believe me? Here's some links listing several brands of diaper cream that you can try. Try them! And if they don't live up to your expectations, I'll list this blog in the Reviews section so can reference it later on... like the next time your kid gets diaper rash.
Nannies Favorite Diaper Rash CreamsSelecting a Diaper Rash Cream
Whats the best diaper rash cream in your opinion?
Yahoo AnswersBaby Center - The best diaper rash cream
Best Nanny Newsletter - Best Diaper Rash Creams for Kids with Eczema
Selecting a Diaper Rash Cream