Say hello to the end of good parenting.
For all those people I see online bitching about how unsafe Bumbos are, this is what I grew up in (picture circa 1973) and I came out just fine.
It’s all about parental supervision, and not relying on equipment to do it for you!
Williams-Sonoma Mini Silicone Spoonulas, Set of 4
In our house we have tried lots of different types of baby spoons, and the CLEAR winner for us were they Williams-Sonoma Spoolulas, which are not technically baby spoons. My wife got them from me for Christmas a few years ago and they quickly became one of my favorite kitchen items. The are just the right size to get every last drop of that bacon-flavored mayo out of the jar, can stand up to heat on the stove, and are super easy to clean by taking the head of the handle (also dishwasher safe).
For all those same reason they are the perfect baby spoon. After all, we didn’t spend hours in the kitchen cooking homemade baby food not to get all of it in his mouth. With these spoonulas you can scrape it all out of the bowl, easily clean his face with a quick swipe and retask dropped food from the tray just as quickly.
When baby decides that it’s his turn to do the feeding these are still our top choice since they are easy to grip and the plyable head is forgiving when jammed a little too far into the mouth. At $19 for a set of 4 they are also a pretty good deal. We use the same set for cooking as we do feeding and they perform wonderfully.
Williams-Sonoma tech info:
- Heads are molded from flexible silicone that won’t chip or crack
- Heads withstand heat up to 500°F
- Heads are removable for cleaning in a dishwasher
- Maple handles
- 7 3/4” long
- Made in USA
The store is in a location that I drove past for years never giving it much thought. It is nestled along a busy street filled with 1960s era stand alone stores, newer mixed use developments and some of the fading landmarks of Atlanta (like The Chamber). That is until one day when I decided to stop and check the place out.
Walking inside of NBP reminded me of the feeling McFly had in seeing a “Full service” station in BTTF, as if he couldn’t even comprehend that you could get so much attention from people that know what they are doing. NBP is the same way.
First of all, the place is about 4 times as big as it looks from the street and seems to go on forever as you walk to the back of the store. Secondly, the friendly no-pressure staff seem to be all knowing and everywhere. I don’t think I have ever been there when less than 4 staff members are on the floor, and I think back to my days of going to Babies R’ Us and looking for help for 20 minutes down those mammoth isles and laugh.
1/3 of the stroller selection at New Baby Products in Atlanta
Anyway, parents of Atlanta that are in the know rave about this place, and with good reason, it’s like finding a magical unicorn in the forest. Except THIS unicorn is an amazing 3rd generation family run baby store with extremely competitive prices and great selection of only the best hand picked products that.. OK. The unicorn analogy isn’t working anymore, but you get the point. It’s an awesome store!
Go there and see for yourself.
Directions, contact info and store hours: www.newbabyproducts.net
My son shopping for some new summer outfits
H8TR: This weekend I was working on a stroller review comparing our old UppaBaby Vista with our new Baby Jogger City Select. Searching for a few images to use in the post I came across a blog post about a homemade iPad mount for their kid a Mom made for her City Select. After reading the post I was, as a parent, well, not horrified but definitely annoyed. I understand that we all have that point at which we will do anything to shut up.. I mean comfort our kids when they hit a high enough decibel or enough time elapses with the crying/screaming. Sure, No problem, I get it. But I think it’s a completely different story to preempt that potential situation by giving them something in the hopes of keeping them quiet.
To the author, Mrs. Graham’s credit she does point out that she knows that people are not going to be happy with her letting her 2 year old kid watch TV and invites “HAVE AT IT haters”. Well, this hater is goin’ta hate I guess.
(Photo by grizaland.com)
This hater having at it: So, I could go on about how tons of studies site the effects of TV on kids younger than 2, or how the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of “quality programming” (like Bay Watch reruns?). I could assert that “screen time”, such as an iPad or smart phone, should be treated the same as “TV time”. I might point out that The first 2 years of life are critical to brain development, and that you basically get out of your kid what you put into them intellectually during this time. I might go on to say that screen based media can easily replace time that kids should be spending playing and interacting with the world. Possibly I would go so far as to point out that this time is SO critical in a child’s formation of social, intellectual and developmental skills that it is a shame to waste it by getting them hooked on Elmo (or whatever)… but I will not go there.
I think about it like building my kids brain with information and experiences in the same way I am building his body with healthy food. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mountain Dew Code Red and Cool Ranch Doritos in the same way I love the internets, but neither of those things are good for my kid. I feed him food that my wife and I make to help him grow up healthy and strong for the same reason we read to him all the time and play with toys that don’t have lights or make sounds (another post topic).
Crying? There is an app for that: In the interest of full disclosure I should say that I’m a SUPER tech nerd. I’ve always got the newest phone, iGadget, Xbox, online game, fully wired house or you name it. But when it comes to my kid, all my devices and screens get turned off when he comes in the room and I have to say I honestly get more enjoyment from our time playing together with his unit blocks then I do using any of my devices. Anyway, the thing that really killed me about finding this post was scrolling down, reading the comments and finding this one: iStroll kid wrote “We are currently developing an ipad case that connects to a stroller - patent pending, called the iStroll kid”. I was hooked at this point, so how could I not click the link?
But before I talk about the iStroll kid I should say that I’m a product designer and I love it (LOVE IT!!) when I see people designing products for themselves, like Mrs. Graham did. While I don’t agree with her decision to to add an iPad to her stroller, I completely applaud her ingenuity and workmanship on putting this together.
Now, Christian Souza at Istroll kid is a different story. Mr. Souza posts as his inspiration for this product on his site:
- Paul Graham from Y Combinator once said that the key to good products is to look for problems and then try to solve them. I had a problem. Being a first-time dad, my problem was my son would not relax in his stroller. That’s the problem I solved, and I hope that if you have a similar problem, it will solve it for you too. Even if you don’t have my specific issue, having the iStroll Kid is still a great way to expose your child to the wealth of educational opportunities that exist on the iPad when he might otherwise just be sitting there.
Let me say that again in case you missed it: “a great way to expose your child to the wealth of educational opportunities that exist on the iPad WHEN HE MIGHT OTHERWISE JUST BE SITTING THERE”.
Just sitting there? If your impression of all your kid is doing while in their stroller out in the world is “just sitting there” then you have bigger issues as a parent my friend.
Side bar: another approach to fixing your “not relaxing in the stroller problem”, 3 tablespoons of Nyquil. Just spit-balling design ideas here..
Examiner.com writer Lauryn Escobar, who wrote one of the reviews on the iStroll kid website says “iStroll Kid Lets Your Kid Be More Addicted to Your iPad Than You” as if that is a good thing? Ms. Escobar adds “Let’s face it, normal everyday tasks like driving, running errands, standing in line at the grocery store, and shopping are boring to your babies and toddlers“ …NO, NO, NO. It’s as if both Ms. Escobar and Mr. Souza are saying that if a child is not actively being entertained by someone, or in both of their cases apparently some device, then they are completely idle and will quickly become a nuisance to them. On the contrary, kids are the most amazing sponges on earth, and they are constantly learning at an astronomical rate. Learning things like “if I scream and cry my parents will give me that opiate device again”..
Hold on, I’m getting distracted. Let me focus on Mr. Souza and the IStroll kid for a second. As an Industrial Designer and former guest professor at Auburn University, one of the fallacies that I talked about in my classes, and I have to constantly repeat to my friends that call me with “a great idea for a product” that they want me to help them design, patent and produce:
- This design is satisfactory for me, it will therefore be satisfactory for everybody else
Mr. Souza, your first mistake (as a designer) is assuming that just because your kid is unhappy if he doesn’t have a screen in front of him that this means that ALL kids are unhappy if they don’t have a screen in front of them. Your second mistake (as a designer) is assuming that if you as a parent make the decision to pacify your kid with a screen that ALL parents want to pacify their kids with a screen. And don’t even get me started on your really expensive 3D printed model with undersized mounting tabs and insufficient wall thicknesses.. oh never mind.
Field Test: Mr. Souza posted a video on his site that says it all (at 3:56). His kid has the screen taken away and is crying, has no interest in sharing or interacting with the 2 girls standing there, meanwhile several kids are joyfully playing in the background on the carpet (screenless). C’mon Dude.
Here is what I want to see from you Mr. Souza. Mount the iStroll kid on your stroller and turn on the photo app with the rear camera active, then maybe your kid will interact with the world around him?
(Screen capture at 3:56 of the iStroll kid product video)
P.S. to Mrs. Graham, WAR EAGLE!
And the Winner is: After ordering the Rumbleseat for our UPPAbaby Vista and pushing our son around the house it struck us that his view of the world was the back of the main seat. This is not how we want him to engage in the world, and we do spend a fair amount of time out in the world using the stroller. So we opted to sell it on Craigslist and are buying a baby jogger city select double.
Craigslist: So we have decided to try and sell our UPPAbaby Vista on Craigslist so that we can (try and) justify buying the Baby Jogger City Select.. and this is the kind of jokers I guess are out there.
I mean, I like to bargain also, but it’s listed for $297 and you counter with $180?