Boon Frog Pod Review

December 23rd, 2009

Boon Frog Pod

Boon Frog Pod

The Boon Frog Pod

and Bug Pod are just what your kid’s bathtub was missing…It’s not a tough product to understand, but wanted to weigh in and tell you about it first hand, in case you had any questions.

The base attaches to the wall of your tub with double sided tape or suction cups if you want it to be “less permanent”. Both options are provided in the box, it’s really just up to you to decide how solid you want it to be on your wall. For our kids bathtub, we started with the suction cups but they didn’t hold up so well. So, reluctantly, I went for the tape next. It holds up pretty well, but be sure to store only the light bath toys. Otherwise, this thing will come crashing down at 2am and wake everyone up…not that it happened to me.

The design is playful and smart. Whether you buy the Frog or the Bug, they are sure to be a hit with your child. From a practical standpoint, it’s a really great product. The shovel/storage bin has several large holes to strain the water-logged toys once you’ve collected them from the bath. So all you need to do is wave it around through the bath water to pick everything up and then place it in the base on your wall. In addition to holding the shovel, the base also has a ledge at the top for shampoo and soap storage.  

If you are considering the Boon Frog Pod or Bug Pod, make sure you’ve got a large area to place it on, as these things are surprisingly large. and…don’t be afraid to make a statement.

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Not Neutral BB2 Set – Table & Chairs

December 21st, 2009

Not Neutral BB2 Set - Table & Chairs

Not Neutral BB2 Set - Table & Chairs

Looking for a table and chairs for your kids? If so, you might want to consider this set of 2 chairs and a table from Not Neutral

. If not, you might want to start thinking about getting one. I say this because I, never in a million years, thought of getting my kids their own table and chairs. I was actually against the idea at first. However, 2 years later, I can now say that it was a great investment. My 4 year old loves this set. He eats and plays at it all day long…The chairs are a little small for me, but I get down there from time to time and work on lots of projects with him. It’s great.

Although the set only comes with 2 chairs, you can always order more. We bought the set 2 years ago, and just purchased 2 additional chairs because my son is now starting to have lots of friends over. It comes in handy for meals and art projects. It’s somewhere safe for kids to play and interact with one another at their level. It allows the kids to move around easily and provides them an area that is more suitable for their size. A bonus, not to be taken lightly, is a clutter-free dinner table. If you get the BB2, all of your kids toys, crayons, paint and paper will be spread out all over your new pint-sized dinning set.

The surface is really easy to clean (thermoplastic polymer paint), and looks great. It comes in 3 cool colors to contrast any room. I say contrast because the colors are pastel green, blue, and orange…not usual colors for a family room or kitchen. The base for the table and chairs is a really dark grey. The design is smart and sharp, and the construction is sturdy. The materials comply with ASTM standards

.

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Skip Hop Toolbox Diaper Caddy – Review

December 18th, 2009

Skip Hop Toolbox Diaper Caddy

Skip Hop Toolbox Diaper Caddy

Our family uses most of the products we sell. That’s how we seperate the great from the not-so-great. The combination of having 3 floors in our house and a 6-month old baby made me realize just how great this item really is. The Skip Hop Toolbox Diaper Caddy

is a rather simple product, but its the simple things that are often the best and most useful.

The box itself is made of hard plastic, totally maintenance free and easy to wipe down. It’s got 2 handy side slots and 2 little drawers for the small stuff. 

I spend most of my weekends up and down the stairs, going from room to room in a never-ending quest to entertain my kids when we aren’t at the beach or the park. With all that moving around, the ToolBox is a great lifesaver. It’s got enough space to hold everything you need for a diaper change and/or a cleanup. We’ve got our wipes, diapers, changing pad, baby powder, cream, swabs, nail clippers, and a few other things that I can’t think of because my wife’s the one who fills it up! Of course, if you are looking for a great stationary storage organizer, this Skip Hop Diaper Caddy is great for the nursery as well. So whether you leave it there, or carry it around the house, I highly recommend it to organize and simplify your diaper changing “experience”. 

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Holiday Gifts for Mom and Baby

December 17th, 2009

Serena & Lily Take Me Home Gift Set

Serena & Lily Take Me Home Gift Set

So, it’s the holidays and it’s really time to get shopping. While we seem to busy from Thanksgiving Weekend until December 23rd, nothing beats to crazy rush starting today until Christmas Eve. It’s tough to find the perfect gift for expectant parents and their kids. So I thought I would share some of our favorites and best-sellers for this season with you.

If you are looking for great quality and great packaging, the Serena & Lily Market Sling

and Take Me Home Gift Set are two big winners for us this year. They both come in great looking pale blue boxes that look like you spent way more than the $129 and $68 price tags respectively. 

If you are anything like we were when our son, Dylan, was born, you’ll want to keep a daily record of sleep and feeding times and quantities to help with scheduling. The Skip Hop Day To Night Baby Log Book

is a great way to do that. This is a really useful gift that’s great to look at as well. It comes with a little time capsule with a flash light, timer and clock. At $44.95, it won’t break the bank, but certainly look like you did. It also shows that you put lots of thought into your gift. A great keepsake…

If you are looking for toys, we always recommend anything from HABA

. These wooden toys are crafted in Germany (not China), using non-toxic paints. The craftsmanship is excellent. With lots of options and multiple price points, there is sure to be something for all developmental levels and age groups.

Skip Hop Day To Night Log Book

Skip Hop Day To Night Log Book

If you are opting for something on the useful side, Aden & Anais

have the bst swaddling blankets we’ve found. Made with cotton muslin, these blankets are ultra lightweight, yet very durable. They come is sets of 2 or 4, with lots of fun prints to choose from.

One of my favorite items is one that I’ve already written about earlier this month, the BEABA Babycook

. This food processor is really cool. It’s tiny, good looking, and very useful. If you have the inclination to make your own baby food, this is a must have. This is also our best selling item of the season so far.

Of course, the natural choice in baby carriers, after you are done with your baby sling, is the Ergo Baby

. The company came out with lots of new colors this season. Most notably, they added several new Organic baby carriers to choose from. My wife and I use the ergo religiously. It’s a great carrier and super comfortable for us and our kids. Although mom is usually seen using one, you might want to consider a neutral color just in case dad wants to give it a try.

Think Baby Complete Feeding Set

Think Baby Complete Feeding Set

A relative newcomer to the baby products industry, Think Baby is making waves with their line of BPA free feeding products. Again, a product that we currently use with our kids, the Think Baby Complete Feeding Set

is a real winner in our house. It’s great for feeding and food storage (each piece comes with a lid so you can take it with you). When you combine food safety with convenience, this gift set is at the top of our list. It’s really great looking too…

If you are ready to pull out the big bucks, Stokke

seems to be the real winner for cribs, strollers, and high chairs this season. Partially because of their looks and commitment to quality fabrication (almost everything is made in Europe). However, in this economy, I think it’s also their commitment to building smart, long lasting, adaptable products that is winning over our customers. The Tripp Trapp Chair can be used from birth to….well…forever? Yes, that’s right, I sit on my son’s Tripp Trapp sometimes. It was designed for the kitchen table as a high chair, as well as a desk chair for homework 10 years down the road. The CARE changing table converts to a desk, and the Sleepi Crib to a set of 2 chairs. It might be pricey stuff, but in our view (and in the view of almost all of our customers) it’s well worth it. Now they just have to figure out how to convert their Xplory stroller to a bike or a scooter….

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BOB Jogging Strollers – Review

December 14th, 2009

BOB Revolution Stroller

BOB Revolution Stroller

BOB is, arguably, the best jogging stroller brand on the market today. The question is not whether or not to buy one, but rather which one is right for you and your lifestyle. As a retailer that sells tons of these strollers, we get this question every day. So, here’s what you need to know about BOB and how to go about choosing the right jogging stroller for your needs.

If you are a hard core runner, the BOB Sport Utility Stroller (SUS)

or the BOB Ironman Stroller will be a popular choice. What matters to runners is weight, stability and durability. The stroller needs to roll smoothly, be able to stand up to the hundreds of miles that you’re going to put on it over the next few years, and be as lightweight as possible.  Both of these BOB Stroller models have these features in spades. The 16-inch aluminum wheels help keep the overall weight down to 20.4 pounds on the Ironman and 21.1 pounds on the D’Luxe SUS. They both have fixed front wheels to add much needed stability, a necessity when using the stroller primarily as a jogging stroller. 

The BOB Revolution was a welcomed addition to the BOB family a few years ago. It’s the swivel-wheeled version of the Sport Utility Stroller that BOB is best-known for. It was created for parents that want the performance of a jogging stroller combined with flexibility and versatility of a standard everday stroller. If you like to walk on the beach, through the park, up a mountain, and through the tiny aisles at the supermarket, then the BOB Revolution Stroller

is a great choice for you. The front swivel wheel enables you to maneuver just about anywhere. Lock it in place and you’ll have the stability needed to go for a long walk and a light jog.

BOB Ironman Duallie Stroller

BOB Ironman Duallie Stroller

The BOB Revolution also comes in a 12″AW (All-Wheel) version

. Instead of the 2 large 16 inch back wheels on the standard Revolution, the AW features 12 inch aluminum back wheels, to match the front swivel wheel. The result is a lighter stroller with increased maneuverability. Simply put, a smaller wheel means a smaller turning radius. So, it takes less space to turn, allowing you to steer through even tighter spaces. The smaller wheels also take up much less space in your car trunk.

All BOB stroller models are available as Duallies (double stroller) as well.  You will compromise a bit  on performance, but with 2 kids you must be used to compromise by now! All BOB Duallie Strollers

fit through standard doorways, making it just as easy to get around with two kids as you were accustomed to with one. BOB is one of the very few stroller brands to offer such versatility.

So, remember, the scale from hardcore runner to casual stroller starts with the Ironman (large, fixed wheels), and follows with the SUS, the Revolution, and finally the Revolution AW (small wheels with a swivel).

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Kushies Shangrila Activity Mat Review

December 10th, 2009

Kushies Shangrila Mat & Arch

Kushies Shangrila Mat & Arch

This was the best Activity play mat on the market (according to our customer reviews and sales volume figures), but then the Kushies Shangrila Acitivity Mat

took a 6 month hiatus…Even though the mat was a top seller, there were numerous reported defects. Mostly, it was the mat arches that kept braking off.  Kushies took it off the market for a little while to iron out the manufacturing issues. Now the mat is back and it’s better and stronger than ever!

My younger son, Hudson, has been looking at, and crawling  all around this thing since he was born. What makes it such a great mat, and better than all the others is its versatility and simplicity. First off, the mat is reversible. On one side, it features a black and white pattern of shapes and other designs. The black and white contrast is great for early childhood development. Also, babies are color blind at first anyhow. The other side is a soft plush mat filled with various colors and detachable toys (secured with Velcro tabs). This side is great once your child becomes more interactive.

The mat can be used on it’s own or with the arches, giving you the option of limiting the amount of stimlulation your child gets at one time. It also allows you to use the mat in the park or at the beach (don’t worry, it’s easy to clean).

Kushies Bobble Teether Toys

Kushies Bobble Teether Toys

The Arches get attached with Velcro on all four corners as well, making it really easy to put on and take off. Kushies  includes a few teething toys as well. these can be clipped onto the arches through the plastic ring at the top, or simply velcroed to the arches around the mat. As I’m writing this, I am realizing that Kushies really loves Velcro! Joking aside, we prefer it over hard snaps. It provides a smoother surface and a stronger hold. 

Kushies also sells a few clip-on teether & toy sets

that can be used with the Shangrila Mat & Arch, making it an even better buy.



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Beaba BabyCook Food Processor Review

December 8th, 2009

Beaba Babycook Food Processor

Beaba Babycook Food Processor

Our youngest son, Hudson, is finally ready for solid food, so we cracked open the Beaba Babycook

box last weekend and started making our own baby food. This thing is great!

You might be asking yourself why you’d shell out $149 for another version of the food processor you have sitting in your basement or tucked away behind the pots and pans in your kitchen. I know I did… All I can say is that it’s worth the money and is much different than the blender you’ve already got.

Taking it out of the box, it’s pretty easy to assemble. There aren’t many parts to it, just the blade, splash lid, cover, spoon/spatula, and steaming basket. It took 2 minutes to put together. It comes with a cooking guide/Recipe book which is very basic, but gives you a good idea of how to steam and blend as well as some ideas on what to cook for your little one.

What makes the Beaba Babycook so unique is that it steams and blends your food in the same blending bowl. The steaming feature can be used to soften raw vegetables to prepare them for blending, or to defrost baby food that you have already made. Steaming time is determined by the amount of water you put into the Beaba. There is a chart in the recipe book to help guide you with that. We started by steaming raw carrots in our Beaba, then blending them…all with the flick of a switch! The Babycook has one dial, with 2 settings; “Blend” and “Steam”, so it’s hard to screw it up.

Beaba Babycook Multiportions Tray

Beaba Babycook Multiportions Tray

Beaba also makes the Multiportions Tray

, a soft plastic tupperware tray with air tight lid to store and freeze your baby food in seven 1/4 cup portion sizes. Once frozen, the soft plastic compartments make it really easy to push and pop each portion out. If you opt not to get the tray, any household tupperware will work just fine.

Overall, this is a great machine. It will save you money by not having to buy all that expensive baby food. It’s also much heathier for your child and comforting for you to know exactly what you’re feeding them.




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Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller Review

December 7th, 2009

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller

Pampered Tot is one of the largest Bugaboo Retailers in the USA. As a Dad to two young boys, I have had a 2006Bugaboo Cameleon for 4 years, and a 2009 Bugaboo Cameleon

for the past 6 months. With my experience as both a parent using one, and a retailer selling them, my goal is to give you enough practical information to help you decide if the Cameleon is right for you.

Let’s start with the version or model, since so many of our customers seem to be worried and confused about getting the latest Bugaboo Cameleon on the market. The significant model change was in the 2008 model year. In 2008, Bugaboo added foam wheels (replacing the air filled ones) and easier height adjustment clips for the handlebar (previously a fly-nut that you had to twist). They have not made any changes to the stroller in 2009 or 2010 (aside from the Bugaboo RED Special Edition Stroller which has a black Chassis).  So, any Cameleon made in 2007 or before is an older model. Anything made in or after 2008 is the new model.

The Bugaboo Cameleon comes in 4 Standard Base Colors (Sand, Red, Dark Grey, and Dark Brown) and one special edition Bugaboo RED Denim Base. These 5 Base colors can be matched up with any of the 9 Tailored Fabric Set colors to provide 45 possible color combinations.

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller with Accessories

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller with Accessories

What about functionality? Well, there isn’t much this thing can’t do. The stroller seat and bassinet can be placed on the stroller chassis in either direction, so you can have your child forward or backwards facing. Although, with the movable handle bar, there’s no need to move the seat. Unique to Bugaboo, the Cameleon (and Frog) stroller handlbar can flip forward or back, allowing you to change your child’s position and view without having to remove them from the stroller! It’s a bit harder to push when the larger fixed tires are in front, but it’s a nice feature to have when you want to change your child’s position without disturbing them. Shocks on the front wheels makes for a really smooth ride, not matter where you are. Large rear tires allow you to take this stroller anywhere. We take ours to the park, beach, and on unpaved terrain. It performs well on all surfaces. Add a height-adjustable handlbar for those really tall parents, and you’ve got a complete and comfortable ride for both child and parent.

We get asked about the bassinet feature quite a bit. It’s important to note that the bassinet and stroller seat share the same stroller seat frame. So, you will not be using both at the same time. Parents should be using bassinet and infant car seat (with a Bugaboo Car Seat Adatper) for the first 3 to 9 months, depending on the size of your child and their willingness to use them. Once they are big enough for the stroller seat, you will remove the bassinet from the seat frame and install the stroller seat fabric to it. It’s quick and easy, although not quick and easy enough to switch between the two, so be sure you are ready for the stroller seat before removing the bassinet.

There are so many accessories for this stroller, so you have to break them down into want vs. need. What you really need is a  Cup Holder

and, most importantly, the Car Seat Adapter . The cup holder is pretty self explanatory; It’s great for a coffee or a baby bottle. For the car seat adapter, you have 3 choices; The Graco SnugRide, Maxi Cosi Mico, and Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP adapter. Bugaboo created all 3 so that parents could choose from amoung the best selection of car seats on the market.

Bugaboo Cameleon Footmuffs

Bugaboo Cameleon Footmuffs

The footmuff

is essential if you live in a cold climate. We thought we could get away with blankets instead. However, even in Southern California winters, the footmuff is a great item to have. The bottom half of the footmuff stays on the stroller seat like a seat linner (the seat straps poke through it, so they can be used with the footmuff), while the top half just zips up around the seat, creating a warm sealed sleeping bag.

The Sun Canopy

is a great add-on; not a neccessary purchase. However, if summer days are stiffling, your child will appreciate the extra ventilation of the side and top mesh windows. They’ll also appriciate being able to look through them, as it brings in some light and a provides a bit of a view! They come in 9 different colors, so it’s also a relatively inexpensive way to change the look of your Cameleon.

The Sun Shade

and Parasol are both meant to do the same thing; block the rays. However, they do so very differently. The Sun Shade is great because is blocks/protects your child no matter where your stroller is facing. It encloses your child in a cacoon-like pocket, completely sheltered from the

Bugaboo Cameleon Sun Canopy & Sun Shade

Bugaboo Cameleon Sun Canopy & Sun Shade

elements. It’s a little hard to see into the “caccoon” to check on your child, but easy for them to see out. The Bugaboo Parasol is great at shielding your child from the sun, but requires constant adjusting if you are moving in different directions. So, the sun shade is great because it doesn’t require any adjusting. However, if you want to see your child and have better airflow for them, I would recommend the parasol. We used the sun shade when our kids were born (they slept all the time, so it was great to have full coverage), and the parasol when they got a little older and wanted to look around.

The Wheeled Board

is great if you have 2 kids, or if your child gets restless and wants to stand up. Bugaboo just came out with a Universal Wheeled Board, which can be used with any Bugaboo Stroller. Installing it is really easy (2 plastic brackets, no screws). When using it, your child stands in back of the stroller and through the handle bar. The Wheeled Board gets in the way of your walking stride, so you will have to walk with a shorter stride or a little off to the side. When not in use there is a bungy cord draw string to pull it up, much like a draw-bridge so you are able to walk normally behind your stroller again.

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller (Folded without wheels)

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller (Folded without wheels)

So how big is it, really? Well, it’s not small, but it will fit into most 4-door and even hatchback car trunks. The 2-piece fold is a little frustrating at first, but shouldn’t deter you from buying one. After 2 or 3 tries, you won’t even notice it anymore. It’s easy to open, easy to put away, and rolls through the tightest spots at the supermarket and small retail shops. The underseat bag looks tiny, but is deceivingly massive. It’s a little tough to access, but has enough room to store just about anything you need for a quick stroll or a long day away from home. 

Hopefully, this has answered many of your questions about the Bugaboo Cameleon. In the 4 years that we’ve had ours, we’ve never had an issue with it. It’s a stylish workhorse. However, if you do have an issue, the stroller comes with a  great 2-year warranty (and the customer service is excellent).

Overall, the Bugaboo Cameleon is a great stroller. Very expensive…but worth the $979 price tag (I can’t believe I just wrote that…).

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Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair Review

December 3rd, 2009

Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair

Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair

The Tripp Trapp Chair

from Stokke is not your typical high chair. In fact, it hardly looks like one at all. If you’re looking for the tray you will looking for a while, and that’s because the Tripp Trapp doesn’t have one! The whole idea behind the design of the Stokke Tripp Trapp is to bring families closer together, by enabling everyone to eat at the dinner table. That’s right, even your 8 month old baby will be part of the dinner conversation, as the Tripp Trapp pushes right up to the table, much the same as any dinner chair. If you think it could get a little messy, make sure to get a Table Top , Stokke’s version of the ultimate child placemat. It comes with 6 printed plastic inserts featuring different patterns, designed to enhance your child’s developmental skills. It also provides a topic for fun dinner conversation. The Stokke Baby Set allows children as young as 6 months old to join the dinner table.

At $249, it’s pricey for a high chair. However, what most parents don’t realize is that the Stokke Tripp Trapp is weight tested up to 200 pounds. Therefore, it can be used by parents as well! The stength of the chair allows kids to use it as a desk chair when they’re done with it at the dinner table. It can be used with the Stokke CARE Changing Table

(which turns into a desk ). When you weigh these benefits, it actually a bargain!

Stokke Tripp Trapp Table Top

Stokke Tripp Trapp Table Top

The Tripp Trapp comes in 10 cool colors to match your dining room, or to provide contrast to make a bold statement. Parents can also choose from several fun chair cushion choices, making the Tripp Trapp the most stylish high chair we’ve ever seen.

There are several height adjustment options for both the seat and the footrest, accomodating the growth of your child for years to come.

At Pampered Tot, we sell hundreds of these every month, and for good reason. It’s built well, made in Slovenia of solid wood. It has more uses than just a typical high chair. It’s also really easy to clean.  There are no plastic parts with hard-to-clean and hard-to-reach nooks and crevices. It’s also not a huge eye soar. The chair blends into the decor of your home, instead of created a whole new theme.

Sleak, stylish, and unbelievably practical, this chair gets high marks from us. As a store owner and as a parent with 2 kids and 2 Tripp Trapp Chairs, I give this product and the  Norwegian company that designed and built it very high marks. 

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2010 Quinny Buzz 3-Wheel Stroller

December 2nd, 2009

New 2010 Quinny Buzz 3-Wheeled Stroller

New 2010 Quinny Buzz 3-Wheeled Stroller

So many of our customers are calling in and asking us when the new 2010 Quinny Buzz 3-wheeled strollers are coming in, and what’s different about them. So, here’s what we know;

The new Quinny Buzz

and Maxi Cosi Mico car seats will be available between late December and mid-January 2010.

Quinny lowered its price for the stroller to $499 (down from $579), a smart move given the state of the economy. The price reduction was made possible by removing a few less needed accessories from the box, such as the bug net and rain cover. Since most people don’t use these at all, why pay for them! At the $499 price, these should be flying off the shelf. Based on the emails and calls we’ve been receiving about them, we expect sales to be really strong.

The 2009 model was offered in a 3-wheel and 4-wheel configuration. The 2010 model will only be available as a 3-wheeled stroller, with an option to convert it to a 4-wheeled stroller by purchasing the 4-Wheel Accessory

 for $89.95.

New 2010 Maxi Cosi Mico Car Seat in Choco Mint

New 2010 Maxi Cosi Mico Car Seat in Choco Mint

If you find the standard stroller seat be be too small for your child, Quinny came out with the Buzz XL Seat

, which is a stroller seat made with a thinner layer of foam material to create more space for your toddler.

The Maxi Cosi Mico Car Seat has remained unchanged for 2010. The have added 2 new colors to help match up with the new Buzz; Breen and Choco Mint.

All-in-all, Quinny is moving in the right direction. The color selection for both the Buzz and the Mico are quite refreshing. At a more moderate price of $499, the Buzz is a very appealing choice. 

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