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Posts Tagged ‘baby products’
Parenting News: Sleep, Children’s Book Parody, Chemicals in Baby Products, Premature Birth, College Kids
By Dad News Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
Six Big Kid Sleep Problems: Parents often think kids’ sleep problems are over once their babies slumber through the night, but at least a quarter of school-age children have nighttime troubles, says Gregory Stores, M.D., emeritus professor of developmental neuropsychiatry at Britain’s University of Oxford. (CNN.com)
‘Go the F*%$ to Sleep’ Proves a Popular Lullaby with Bleary-Eyed Adults: “It’s pretty wild,” said Adam Mansbach, the 34-year-old author who was inspired to write the book “for fun” last year based on the “grueling” experience of putting his then 2-year-old daughter to sleep. (LATimes.com)
Chemical Suspected in Cancer Is in Baby Products: More than 30 years after chemical flame retardants were removed from children’s pajamas because they were suspected of being carcinogens, new research into flame retardants shows that one of the chemicals is prevalent in baby’s products made with polyurethane foam, including nursing pillows, car seats and highchairs. (NYTimes.com)
A Blood Test to Predict Premature Birth Could Hit the Market Next Year: Doctors historically have had little luck predicting which women will deliver early, but now a new study presents a way to detect more than 80% of preterm births ahead of time, with a second-trimester blood test. (TIME.com)
Families Adjusting to College Kids Home for Summer: Summer at home — so often eagerly awaited by the students, their parents and siblings — is often a mixed-up time of happy reunions, unexpected challenges and weird new family dynamics as not-quite adult kids return temporarily to the nest. (ABC News)
By Daddy Clay Monday, September 21st, 2009
Notes from the ABC Baby Expo
Although the official video is not out for a while, I’ll give the faithful readers of this blog a little sneak peek at my Best of Show ABC Baby Expo products. Here were my rules: no car seats or strollers (Gear Daddy’s turf), no baby carriers (BabyBjorn, duh), nothing cloth (layette gives me shivers), and nothing too big to put on a display table for filming.
With all the above exclusions, my search of the enormous show floor yielded small and practical items with a marked absence of any show stoppers. It may be that the list is not that impressive, but these are small and clever things for tough economic times — recession stocking stuffers, if you will.
My policies, though thoughtfully instituted, did lead to a couple of glaring omissions in my final video. Sp before rolling out the red carpet and striking up the band, I’d like to remedy that.
A Desk Doesn’t Fit on the Display Table
As I mentioned on the live show, my daughter needs a desk. Even since her brother got the New Academic Center from Ikea in celebration of starting middle school, Ri-ri has been lobbying for a desk of her own. She’s even shifted stuff around to make a spot. Her efforts poignantly highlighted the sad fact that her room is only slightly bigger than a closet. But I’ve been on the lookout for a student desk that could fit in the tiny corner she cleaned out.
I think that’s why the light went on when I saw the Qdesk. There’s not much earth shattering about these cute plastic school chairs except that they meet perfectly a need that lots of parents have — a nice but compact study desk for kids in grades 2-5. The fact that these heavy-duty plastic units come in cute colors (Ri-ri would probably select purple) and are recyclable certainly are nice features. I felt that the positioning of the product as green (“a child sits, a tree stands”) was a bit of a stretch, but probably defensible.
These units aren’t cheap — MSRP around $100 — but I feel confident that one desk could last through several kids before being hauled out to the recycle bin. Another reason to go with purple, as opposed to hot pink — more unisex. The expense also makes me think that you would want to buy these ergonometric unit a size too big, like shoes. Three sizes are available.
Burp Armor was worthy but ineligible because it’s made of the cloth rule, but I covered that last week.
Now that that’s out of the way.
Cue the opening number.
The DadLabs Award for Smallish Non-Car Seat or Stroller Items That Caught Daddy Clay’s Eye at the ABC Kids Expo 2009 (put that on a sticker on the packaging, I dare you)
(in no particular order)
My Plate Mate — backstop that keeps food inbounds; an elegant solution for littles learning utensils
Sprig Dump Truck — solid playability from a truck made of a really cool wood/plastic hybrid material that happens to be sustainable. Dad inventor.
Pop Pals — A kiddie koozie for your frozen treats. How did we ever eat an Otter Pop without one?
Blinxy — Can we possibly build a better pacifier? This one looks like it has potential.
Shutter Buddy — Camera attachment that entices babies to look at the camera lens. How many times will you rally use it? If it works once, it’s worth it.
I would also like to recognize a number of brands that really impressed me with the thoughtfulness of their designs across their product lines.
There was nothing in the giant glowing cube that was the Boon booth that failed to amuse or impress me. From the tiniest Scrubble to the most capacious Animal Bags, everything they make has wit and utility. If you are buying a Boon product, you are making a good choice.
I wasn’t inclined to even visit Munchkin. Before this show, they blended in with Playtex and Gerber — monolithic producers of plastic baby gear. I was lured into the booth by a new diaper pail they are coming out with (full review coming soon), but found that most of what they make has a design edge that distinguishes them. Their products have a bit of thoughtfulness, playfulness, even coolness that I did not expect to find.
And, of course, there is BabyBjorn. With their new Organics line, a new potty chair, and with more colors offered on lots of their existing products they had plenty to roll out at the show, but it’s the consistency and quality of design across everything that they make that impresses me so much. Congrats to Jim and Amy and the whole crew on a great show.
(Disclosure: DadLabs is currently sponsored by BabyBjorn, and has been sponsored by Boon in the past. We only work with the best.)
By Daddy Clay Friday, September 18th, 2009
Over the years we’ve learned not to get our hopes up about the representation of dads at this massive trade show. But a heads up to the manufacturers: one picture of a dad, somewhere in your marketing and packaging materials would be a good start. Please read your market research and act accordingly. Dads are purchasing your products.
So be warned! By next year, if you are not including dads in your marketing/sales materials, I will not cover your booth. You will be required to present one dad (minimum) before the camera rolls. (I’m sure the guys at Playtex are quaking at this pronouncement, but the line is drawn.)
There are certainly glimmers of hope and plenty of Dad-preneurs on the show floor. I particularly liked getting to meet Mike Barclay and his wife Kristen, the folks behind a layer of Burp Armor. Typically, I try to ignore all things cloth at the Expo, but Mike’s product caught my eye because of an interview that I did with Men’s Health that I think is now on the stands (I should probably check). The reporter asked if I knew a good way to keep spitup off of dad’s nice work clothes in the morning before work.
No one could possible be less qualified to answer this question than me. Early on, I decided the dried spitup was a badge of honor. Plus, what are nice clothes? I made something up for the nice reporter and moved on. But since then, I’ve been on the lookout for a cool spitup mitigation technique and Burp Armor is as good as I’ve seen. Ergonometric, organic and cool looking, soft on top and ribbed with slide-limiting corduroy, this is a very dad-friendly burp cloth.
No surprise, as this is a dad invented product. I particularly enjoyed Mike’s story of entrepreneurship (hmm, familiar?) as he is a boarding school guy, and even a dean of students (see full size video). I hope these guys have a smash hit. You can do your part by ordering one for an expecting or new dad today.
More notes from the show soon.
By Daddy Clay Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
It has become an annual pilgrimage: The official DadLabs hajj to the ABC Baby Expo in Las Vegas. The we-dread-it/we-love-it event is one that gets marked and circled long in advance. This year the event certainly did not disappoint, either on or off the show floor.
The excitement started early this year, as I tried to explain to my wife where we were staying. Daddy Brad, always with an eye on the bottom line, found a great deal for us — a resort/casino right on the strip for less than $45/night.
“So it’s a great deal, and actually we stayed there a couple of years back before they remodeled. And the location is pretty good for the Convention Center. What’s it called? Uh. Well. Um. Hooters.”
As anyone who has conventioned in Vegas knows, asking where someone is staying is standard small talk. So busting out with “Hooters” at a convention that is largely by and about women makes a nice sense of humor litmus.
In all honesty, it was a completely adequate hotel. The room was a room. The Bubba factor was high, but we travel with Daddy Brad, so that’s pretty much how we roll. We just cut the sleeves off our shirts and melted into the flow. Hooters girls, bringing cocktails, in the context of Las Vegas, seems kind of quaint and old school.
And the craps tables were on fire! Low minimum, high odds, and paying out like an ATM. I was so excited about my winnings that I made the huge error of telling my wife how much I had won. At that moment, a new Macbook Air transformed into a rug. Poof. Easy come, easy go.
But, our real reason for being in Vegas, as we constantly need to remind ourselves, was to identify and film cool new baby products. And there were plenty of those. There’s a ton of territory to cover — I’d say about a a dozen Coscos worth of real estate. Fortunately we can disregard large swaths of frilly, lacy, poofy landscape. We scout on day one, do meetings on day two, and film like crazy on day three.
We ended up getting footage on cool products from Britax, Chicco, OXO, Stokke, Little Partners (Learning Tower), Bloom and more. Of course we spent a lots of time with our good friends Jim, Amy, Annika and the whole crew from Baby Bjorn. They’ve rolled out cool new colors on all the carriers, and have a new bouncy seat called the Babysitter Balance that is going to be a bit hit for them, I think. The shows we shot there should start hitting the site in two or three weeks.
We also met the very cool team behind the documentary DVD Being Dad. Wary at first that we were dealing with the competition, we were soon off to the races thinking about how we could collaborate. And also thanks to the cool people at Medela that allowed me to riff/interview their distinctive mannequin (pictured here).
Other highlights included:
-The Painter Dude that robbed Liberace’s closet before going onstage at the conference reception to paint giant faces of musicians as their music blared. Also juggling mimes. Always a winner.
-The Nascar on the floor of the Hooter’s Casino (via Brad)
-The dude next door that bawled us out for quoting this video loudly, over and over.
-The loopy, weaving cabdriver with prescription bottles in his cupholders.
-Unconfirmed rumors that some lady went upside my head after too much of Cleopatra’s best bonded
Already counting down to next year.