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Traveling Teething: Oh Plah! Bracelet {Review}

Welcome to Tuesday Travels, a regular series at Traveling with Baby featuring ideas for local day trips and travel tips for families with kids-in-tow. You’ll also find get-up-and-go related product reviews and giveaways. I enjoy hearing about your traveling adventures, too.

I mentioned last week that Lucien has started teething, and some of the measures we’ve been taking to make him more comfortable. I’ve been noticing lately how much his motor skills have improved and how he enjoys having a toy to play with in the car. I try to remember to keep toys in his diaper bag or car seat, but I’ll admit it’s not always the first thing on my mind when I’m heading out the door (more like “do I have matching shoes on??). He’s also old enough now that he can remove his binkie, turn it around, suck on it, and (sometimes) get it back in. I thought that given these factors I’d like to try out a product I had heard about.

Roundhouse send me their “Oh Plah!” bracelet in “serenity” and I have to tell you that I love it. It’s stylish so I’ll wear it with my clothing and it makes a great accessory. The bracelet come in a variety of colors and patterns so that you can choose a color that reflects your style and goes with your wardrobe. Mommy approves.

Unlike a pacifier (which easily slips out of his mouth and onto the floor) and toys (which are sometimes left at home and aren’t handy), the Oh Plah! bracelet is at my fingertips in a second and satisfies Lucien’s craving for something to look at, play with, and chew on.

Lucien enjoys the bracelet too! It’s super flexible, so he is almost strong enough to take it off my wrist himself. It’s durable and washable (a must for a new mommy!). It has a smart little hole that he slips his fingers into to hang on. It’s free of BPA and other harmful chemicals.

Here’s a little more information about the bracelet:

  • Constructed of medical grade thermoplastic- non-toxic, bacteria resistant, and free of lead, latex, PVC, BPA and phthalates.
  • Meets or exceeds the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) regulations, in addition to meeting or exceeding safety testing standards for Canada (C.R.C. c.931) and the European Union (EN-71).
  • No small parts means it’s safe for even the tiniest babe.
  • Extremely durable yet flexible, standing up to frequent chewing without looking worn or damaged.
  • Easily cleaned with soap and water, and dries quickly so that it can be worn again right away.
  • Great as a nursing reminder (switch wrists to remember which side comes next).
  • Made in the USA.

Exclusive for Traveling with Baby readers: Readers of Traveling with Baby will receive 15% off their purchases at  Roundhouse using the following code: “Traveling15”

Note: One bracelet was provided for the purpose of this review. Read the full disclosure policy.

Happy Green Baby — Seminar Scoop

happy-green-baby1Thanks to everyone who participated in today’s seminar!  What a fun group.  For those of you who couldn’t make it and are out of town, no worries…get your Happy Green Baby highlights right here.

As promised, I’ve collected all the links and info into one location to serve as your Happy Green Baby information headquarters.  Don’t forget to bookmark this post for future reference.

Cloth Diapers

Feeding Baby

TOXIN-FREE BABY

——————————————————————————————

Family-Friendly Grand Opening

As a friendly reminder, I hope to see you at the grand opening festivities for Spinal Health & Wellness on Thursday, October 8th from 4PM to 7PM.  We want to make this fun-filled event enjoyable for the entire family. Participating vendors are offering FREE portrait sittings, chair massage, face painting, and kid-friendly snacks. There’s also fabulous door prizes including 8×10 portraits, HappyBaby coupons and snack samples, and much more.

Healthy Mama Workshop

healthy mama smallI’ll be back at Downtown ACAC on Saturday, November 7th as the featured speaker for the Pre-Natal and Post-Natal seminar series offering a Healthy Mama Workshop that begins at 11:45 AM.

Moms will learn safe and ergonomic postural considerations for both parent and baby while babywearing.  Also, augment the breastfeeding bonding experience by caring for mom and baby’s back needs.  This workshop will teach you how to stay comfortable longer while wearing baby–preventing spine or pelvis injuries on baby.  You’ll also learn body support tips for the most common nursing positions, and caring for your baby’s back from infancy to toddlerhood.

Bring your baby carrier/sling and nursing pillow, if you use them.

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Happy Green Baby

Hey Moms!

If you’re in the central Virginia area this coming weekend, stop by for a  one-hour class on simple ways to go green–an intro to cloth diapering and preparing homemade organic baby food from scratch–at Charlottesville’s Downtown ACAC (111 Monticello Ave.) on Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 at 11:45AM. This event is free and open to the public as part of ACAC’s pre-natal and post-natal seminars.

Happy Green Baby classes focus on surrounding a baby with a safe and and healthy environment, void of synthetic chemicals and harmful toxins.  This class will teach parents simple ways to go green, through an introduction to cloth diapering and creating homemade organic baby food, as well as a brief overview on wisely choosing items that come in contact with a baby’s mouth and precious skin, such as non-toxic bottles, baby skincare and baby sun care.

The workshop will be led by me…besides editing Traveling with Baby, I’m also a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Charlottesville.

I’m excited to offer Happy Green Baby to parents.  There’s enough learning curves involved with a new baby; I want to help parents feel confident and simplify the learning curve involved with raising a healthy, happy, and green baby.

For more information on Happy Green Baby, please call the office at (434) 566-0126 or visit www.scoliosisdoc.com.

I hope to see you there!

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Happy Green Baby Seminar

Happy Green Baby What good is living the healthy and green life if you can’t share about how easy and wonderful it is with others?

I’ve been using a variety of green cleaning products, including homemade and super inexpensive ones since 2001.  Because I prefer to avoid products that have harmful toxins (whether its toys, sippy cups, or sunscreen), I’ve done my homework to find a variety of things that I feel comfortable and confident allowing Calvin to use.

I’m eager to share what I’ve learned with other moms.

So, if you happen to be in Charlottesville next Thursday, July 23rd, please stop by Rebecca’s Natural Food from 6:30 – 7:30 PM.  I’m presenting a FREE Happy Green Baby class as part of the on-going seminar.

  • Learn how to surround your baby with a safe and and healthy environment void of synthetic chemicals and harmful toxins.
  • Discover how to wisely choose items that come into contact with baby’s mouth and precious skin.
  • Find out how to create your own safe, green cleaning products for a chemical-free home.

You can RSVP on Facebook, or call Rebecca’s (434) 977-1965 to sign-up!  There’s only 20 slots and most of the seats are already full, so sign-up today.  I’d love to see you there!

–Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly

Camelbak Leads the Pack

I’ve been a fan of Camelbak since I was in the military and used a Sabre hydration pack on flying missions and physical fitness workouts when stationed in the desert overseas.  While in Chiropractic College, I was an avid runner, and I got a lot of use out of my runner’s hydration pack (Flashflo).  Since I’m a mom, my hydration needs are different.  I don’t want to carry a pack on my back or on my waist since toting Calvin around (sling or no sling) is enough.  But, I still need my H2O, and Camelbak answers the call for clear, pretty, plastic, BPA-Free bottles for moms and kids with an exclamation point in the Better Bottle.

These jewel-toned bottles come in 0.5L (perfect for kiddos), 0.75L (perfect to carry in your hand), and 1L (great for a LONG hike or road trip), either with the classic cap or the bite valve.  The bite valve doesn’t spill when turned upside-down and shaken.  It’s a feature unique to Camelbak products that I find positively brilliant.  You don’t have to tilt your head back to take a sip . . . perfect for staying hydrated in the middle of the night for nursing mommies!  This 0.75L Better Bottle by Camelbak is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE drinking bottle . . . at 3 AM, I don’t even have to sit up in bed to get a drink, and I don’t have to worry about spilling water all over me when I’m half groggy anyway.

Camelbak Better Bottle Features

  • Made of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester, the bottle is completely BPA-free and is dishwasher safe
  • Tritan™ copolyester provides excellent impact resistance and is suitable for both warm and cold beverages
  • Bypass the potential hazards of drinking from wide openings—CamelBak’s Big Bite valve eliminates awkward drips and spills
  • Just bite and sip and the beverage flows through the valve—you don’t even need to tip the bottle to drink
  • But if lifting and tipping is your preferred method, no problem; just remove the straw inside
  • Big Bite valve has an articulating stem, so when not in use it folds down next to the bottle and stays clean
  • Carry the integrated handle in the crook of a finger, or connect it to a pack or waistbelt with a small carabiner
  • Simply unscrew the cap to uncover bottle’s wide-mouth opening for easy filling and cleaning; standard cap size fits many other wide-mouth bottles
  • Specially shaped bottle fits nicely in your hand and accommodates most automobile cup holders
  • All components are dishwasher safe (top rack only); do not microwave
  • CamelBak does not recommend the use of carbonated beverages with the straw configuration; remove straw and drink by tipping and sipping

Once Calvin can figure out how to use the bite valve, I think this is going to make a GREAT sippy cup in the 0.5L size.  For now, he finds my .75L bottle his most favorite chew toy.  My husband is eager to try the 1L bottle while he works in tree canopies as an arborist.  I like that it’s slim enough to fit in the bottle pockets of most diaper bags and stroller cup holders.  Best of all (besides the smart design) is that it’s BPA-FREE and dishwasher safe.  Camelbak products have ALWAYS been BPA-Free.  FYI, these nifty bottles are designed for ages 5 and older since the bite valve is removable for cleaning (grip with all your might, twist, and pull)–it may be a choking hazard.  Links to retailers are available on Camelbak’s site.  I’ve seen these bottles priced anywhere from $10 to $13 online, and they’re worth every smart penny.  There are several color options available: black, grey, green, pine, pink, red, ocean, orange, light blue, purple, and brown.

Wow!  Thanks, Camelbak.  You anticipated the desires of the consumers and you provided a fabulous product.

**WIN IT**

One reader will win a .75L (24 oz.) BPA-Free Better Bottle by Camelbak retail value $13).  Color depends upon availability.  To enter, visit Camelbak’s site and browse all their cool hydration options.  Then, come back to this post and leave a comment.  Any comment will do, but it must be relevant to this post.  Tell me what Camelbak product you’d like to try.  Tell me what you like best about the Better Bottle.  Be creative, visit Camelbak’s site, and have fun.  The contest ends at 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, July 8th. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 9th.

Only one entry per person each contest week. Multiple entries will be deleted. The winner and 2 alternates will be selected on Random.org and announced on this post and on Prizey. If you provide your e-mail address, I will contact you. The winner has 72 hours to claim the prize, otherwise, the prize goes to the first alternate to contact me with a shipping address.

**UPDATE**

Congratulations to the winner! Amy, on July 3rd, 2008 at 3:26 pm Said:

I’ve been wanting to try one – and something SPILL PROOF would be great for this prego… and how pretty is the berry color?

–By Dr. Dolly

Get a BPA-Free Magic Cup from Avent . . . It’s ABOUT Time!

I previously posted about Bisphenol-A Free baby bottles here. I recently found more info on this hot topic regarding baby health. First, I recommend visiting the Z Recommends site which has tons of info on BPA including rankings of baby product manufacturers, a mobile phone texting resource, and a BPA-Free report.

Next, I highly suggest parents check out the Bisphenol-A Free website which also has tons of resources and weblinks following this topic. This is the site where I found the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Smart Use of Food Plastics and Healther Food Uses of Plastics printable pdf guide.

I contacted Canadian Buzz Bishop whose blog has a post boasting a creative use of the BPA-containing Nalgene bottles (nightlight anyone?). I found his blog via a post on London Drugs accepting BPA baby bottles and providing FREE in store credit. I also read this post on Avent making bottles with BPA. Since I don’t live in Canada, and I really wanted to find a way to make better use of my Avent Isis Uno breast pump, I wanted to know what options I had.

Currently, I pump into an Avent bottle, and then I immediately transfer it to a BPA-Free Medela bag or BPA-Free Born Free bottle for milk storage. Buzz directed me to Smart Canucks site which, for Canadians, enables free samples of Avent’s BPA-free bottle and sippy cup.

I called the toll free number (after being on hold for 8+ minutes and listening to a recording in French and English), and was finally in touch with a live Avent customer service representative. She kindly offered to send me a free Magic Cup which can be used with my breast pump and used as a sippy cup. So, U.S. residents can access Avent’s BPA-free stuff now, too. It also helped that I told her that I’m currently an Avent user. She suspected that Avent will soon make a BPA-free funnel for the breast pumps, too.

To contact Avent in the U.S., call 1-800-542-8368, but you’ll also get results with the Canadian number 1-800-843-2174

Update (5/22/2008)

I called the U.S. Avent number today for information regarding the free Magic Cup, and I encountered a very hostile Customer Service Representative who just wanted to read her script and tell me how “SAFE” the Avent bottles were, since BPA is only leeched if milk is heated in the bottles.  I told her how BPA is leeched through scratched plastic, and she proceeded to interrupt me by constantly saying, “ma’am . . . ma’am”.   She denied having a supervisor to whom I could speak (she said there is no boss for customer service).  After the way she acted, I believe it!

Additionally, phthalates are equally harmful (neural excitotoxin) and can be found in most soft plastic baby toys (and women’s nail polish) . . . in fact, most anything that’s not a rock-hard plastic. eHow published an article on how to stay away from phthlates in baby toys.

Update 6/27/2008

I found some great info on Safe Mama that most Babies R Us retailers will accept new and used bottles with BPA.  Whether or not they need a receipt for the exchange depends on the particular store.