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September 2006
TOT TIPS
Advice and Reviews for Parents of Young Children

by Maria Gildea Selwood

Swaddling Blankets

Newborn babies loved to be swaddled. The tight wrapping in a comfy blanket re-creates the close quarters inside the womb. As a result, babies sleep more comfortably and longer. Manufacturers have caught on to this concept, and several swaddling blankets have been produced with special designs that far exceed the average receiving blanket. Go Mamma Go Designs of Alexandria has created the latest swaddling blanket — the Snug & Tug. The first thing you'll notice about these blankets are the eye-catching designs, but there is more to the Snug & Tug than meets the eye. My friend, Natalie, tested out the Snug & Tug on her 2-month-old against two other swaddling blankets she has: the "SwaddleMe Blanket" and the "Miracle Blanket." Natalie gave the Snug & Tug high marks. Here are some pros and cons Natalie notices after "test-driving" the blanket on her baby for a few weeks:

Pros:

  1. Pouch is bigger than the pouch on other blankets, so the entire baby fits into pouch.
  2. Velcro™ helps keep baby swaddled (the Miracle Blanket has no Velcro)
  3. Placement of Velcro allows for adjustment depending on the size of baby and the tightness of swaddle (SwaddleMe blanket has Velcro, but patches are small so not much adjustment is possible).
  4. "Wings" of the blanket are long so they wrap around entire body (SwaddleMe only wraps around half of the body; Miracle Blanket wraps around twice).
  5. Fun colors/patterns (SwaddleMe comes in solid colors, Miracle Blanket has some patterns).

Cons:

  1. The fabric on the blanket Natalie used was slightly thick, making it difficult to get a really tight wrap.
  2. Patches of Velcro on the front of blanket are close to the top edge causing a lot of fabric to gather near the baby's face and mouth.
  3. Both of baby's arms have to be wrapped at the same time so it can be difficult if the baby is squirmy and uncooperative.

If you're interested in learning more about the Snug & Tug or want to order a blanket, visit the Go Mamma Go Designs website at: www.snugandtug.com.


The Poison Post

Several months ago I found myself on the phone with the Poison Control Center when my daughter broke out in hives after I applied a new hand lotion and then picked her up to get her dressed for the day. I originally called the manufacturer because I wanted to know what was in the lotion that could have caused such a reaction, but they directed me to Poison Control, which has a more complete list of the ingredients in their product than they did! The woman from Poison Control was very helpful and, while I didn't figure out what had caused my daughter's hives, the experience was a positive one. Since then, I've been receiving "The Poison Post," a free quarterly electronic newsletter about Poison Help. If you're interested in seeing past newsletters or signing up to receive "The Poison Post" by e-mail, visit the Poison Control website, www.poison.org, and click on Current Issues.


CPSC Recall

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Small World Toys, announces the recall of vehicles in the following books: IQ Baby Pillow Soft Activity Blocks, IQ Baby Traveling' Train Blocks, IQ Baby Vroom Vroom Vehicles and Discovery Channel Vroom Vroom Vehicles. The plastic wheels on the vehicles can detach posing a choking hazard. Consumers should stop using the recalled toy vehicles immediately and contact Small World Toys at (800) 421-4153 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday. Consumers can also visit the Small World Toys website at www.smallworldtoys.com, or e-mail the firm at recall@smallworldtoys.com.


Paper Moon

Paper Moon is the latest catalog baby store, and it stands out from all the rest. There is a wide range of chic maternity and baby clothes, stylish diaper bags, retro baby toys, contemporary furniture, high-caliber strollers and more. The maternity pants and jeans tend to be pricey, as always seems to be the case (from $99-up), but well worth purchasing for some great looking and comfortable staple pieces. The skirts, tops and tanks are wonderfully trendy and more affordable. There are fabulous dresses for special occasions and nursing bras that actually look pretty. The baby clothes, including soft-soled shoes and moccasins, are adorable and unique. If you're looking for a shower gift for a friend, there a plenty of bibs, blankets, books and tableware in addition to the traditional gift of baby clothes and onesies. Interspersed throughout the merchandise in the catalog are enjoyable short interstitials on the joys of motherhood presumably written by real "Paper Moon" moms. Visit www.papermoonbaby.com to see their wonderful online catalog.


SitterCity.com

Going to an out-of-town wedding and need a babysitter in that city? Looking for a new full-time nanny, or someone to watch the kids so you can go out for "date-night"? Sittercity.com debuted in April this year and has a database of more than 200,000 sitters and nannies nationwide. In addition to childcare, sitterycity.com also provides pet sitters, house sitters, eldercare and people who will help with your housework. Sitters sign up for free, and those looking for a sitter can choose one of two payment options: an annual plan of $7.99 a month or $39.99 for the first month and $9.99 for each month after that. Like Match.com or Jdate, potential sitters and people looking for sitters are matched up by Sittercity.com according to need. Once members go through the list of potential sitters found by sittercity.com, they then are responsible for screening babysitters themselves. Sittercity.com offers a list of questions to ask potential sitters and advice on how to conduct an additional screening test (including checking references, a background check and using the sittercity.com interactive boards). To find a babysitter nationwide or to learn more about this service, check it out at www.sittercity.com.


Baby Safety Month

The month of September marks the 23rd year of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) Baby Safety Month. This year's theme is "A Safe and Happy Home." JPMA's Baby Safety Month website has information for expectant and new parents including safety guidelines for common juvenile products, important information on the JPMA Certification Program and tips on bath seats, bedding, car seats and more. You can download or order through the mail a free JPMA "Safe and Sound for Baby" safety brochure which illustrates how to correctly use many different juvenile products. For more information, check out the website, www.jpma.org.


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