I am super excited to announce that I have been working with Manhattan Mini Storage to put together a promotion for the last Baby Dream Gear Class of the year. Check out this super fun video of how we moved everything from one very very cramped closet into one of the units here.
They have been awesome and have helped me store all of the gear for class in one of their storage facilities.
This promotion will allow two lucky winners to attend the last class of the year. And there are prizes!!
Thanks again to Manhattan Mini for being so awesome!!
It’s been a long time since there has been a stroller article on here – and we love strollers, right?! And this question comes up a lot here in the city of strollers. Now, strollers are important in many other places too, but New Yorkers seem to take it up a notch. And I love that.
So first let me say, no one needs a stroller. And I have one client who carried her baby until she was three and then decided that it might be time. I am a huge fan of babywearing and I admire that kind of dedication. I still carry my daughter at two and a half, but sometimes I just need to not feel like a pack mule. And grandma and grandpa are not so keen on carrying her when they want to take her out. So here is how I break it down.
A “strolling” stroller for daily use, a jogging stroller – for, well, jogging, of course, and a light, quick-fold stroller. But, how in the world is a NYC apartment to hold those strollers. Ironically, I find, people in less urban areas actually need far less selection AND they have more storage space. So here is what I recommend for the city -
Don’t get a jogging stroller unless you are really serious about jogging. Then go to a running store and test them out and get some good advice from the running experts.
Hold off on the umbrella or lightweight stroller until the little one is a little older. Unless you plan to use public transportation daily and immediately after the little one is three months. Until then, I recommend a baby carrier on the subway with the little one. And be sure to pack light in the diaper bag area.
Stick to your daily use stroller for trips around the neighborhood, grocery store trips or all day outings.
Now, if you, like I do, tend to have friends come to play a lot. And you don’t always want to get stuck in the house, you might want to make the case fore a double stroller. I have one that I have used A LOT. And I actually love going out with two little ones. It gives me perspective. And its a lot of fun to take friends along for new adventures. And when one of my friends was pregnant, we would only take one stroller and we could switch off. And I felt like it was one way I could spoil her while she was pregnant and caring for a toddler at the same time.
I get the chance to test a lot of fun strollers and I have access to storage (and that makes me a lucky lucky girl!) so my situation is somewhat unique and no stroller is perfect, but let me answer one other question that I suspect is a popular one – if I’m only going to get one stroller, what should it be? Well, this is hard, but I have thought about this a lot. And I would go with the Bugaboo Bee or the UppaBaby Cruz.
What about you – how many strollers did you have or do you plan to get?
We always love it when baby planning catches attention in the news. We know how much our services support and help the families we work with and we are happy to speak with reporters who want to feature this new and immensely important industry. Once again, Sweet Pea Baby Planners and founder April Beach are featured in national news. Check it out…
Busy expectant moms hire baby planners to prepare
By Colleen Jenkins
(Reuters) – New Yorker Melissa Garden learned she was pregnant with her first child last year just as her communication director job at New Meadowlands Stadium hit full throttle.
When exactly, she wondered, would she squeeze car seat and stroller shopping into 70-hour work weeks packed with concerts and prepping for the Jets and Giants season openers?
Garden opted to hire professional baby planners who, much like the better-known niche of wedding planners, came armed with expertise to ready the overwhelmed, soon-to-be mother for her big day — her son’s arrival.
“I had no time to think about what I needed to do to prepare,” said Garden, 39. “They pulled everything together for me.”
Others have gotten their first glimpse into the burgeoning baby planning industry this month with the premiere of…
With our roots in San Francisco, Apple Park was founded with a vision to create environmentally responsible and luxurious products for babies and children. Apple Park’s Picnic Pals were inspired by classic children’s toys, reinvented with the finest eco-friendly materials available. From a family of experienced toy makers, Apple Park’s founder, Angie Ting, set out to create the line of eco-friendly products with her two young children in mind. Her concern for the health of babies, the environment and social issues derived from conventional farming were her inspiration. She formed a partnership with Pate International, a highly respected San Francisco design firm known for their environmentally-conscious designs, to create the brand in 2009. Susan Pate, along with her daughter Chloe Pate, helped her realize her dream and together they created Apple Park.
The rise of asthma and other serious medical issues in children are being linked to chemicals in their environment. Apple Park’s naturally hypoallergenic products are made from 100 percent certified organic cotton and are free from chemicals and carcinogenic materials. Taken into great consideration is our signature red packaging that is made from 100 percent recycled paper and printed with soy ink. It is not meant to be wrapped and our hope is for the packaging to be used and reused again. We are also proud to say that Apple Park was the first toy factory in China to receive the GOTS certification.
The name “Apple Park” represents the ideals that define our brand. The word “apple” stands for a new beginning, the life cycle, nature, love, curiosity and education. “Park” refers to a place where man has collaborated with nature for the purpose of preservation and enjoyment. Apple Park’s mission is to create unique, lovable and stimulating toys from organic, sustainable and recycled materials.
Shannon Harlow, Sweet Pea Baby Planners Dallas interviews Matt Genova, Nook Sleep System
How is Nook Eco Conscious?
Nook is the only infant bedding system to consider infant health across platforms of breathability, non-toxicity and cleanliness in the creation of all of its products. Every detail from sleep surface to zipper is carefully questioned, analyzed and tested prior to product release.
Independently owned and operated, Nook Sleep Systems operates out of Inglewood, California, just blocks from the ocean. But at Nook, our Made in the USA philosophy extends beyond our office. We source as many local and organic materials and manufacturing processes as possible. Packaging, printing and manufacturing of our mattresses, pillows and sheets all take place around the corner in Southern California. Our certified organic wool comes from family-owned farms in Northern California and Oregon. And our organic cotton comes from deep in the heart of Texas. Yee-haw!
Does Nook utilize any chemicals that off-gas toxins?
Standard infant crib mattresses are composed of synthetic materials and fire retardant chemical sprays that can emit airborne toxins, commonly referred to as off-gasses. Even at miniscule trace levels, toxins can be harmful to developing minds and bodies. Nook uses only non-toxic materials that contribute to both a pure, safe sleep environment and a healthy, responsible production environment. We employ absolutely no harsh chemicals or toxins, not in materials, not in manufacturing, not even in packaging. Rather than rely on cheap and easy-to-come-by synthetics, extensive research and testing has led us to natural fire retardants and microbe-resistant fibers to help protect and comfort infants without compromising health benefits.
Tell me more about the materials used to make Nook and how they impact the Earth.
As infants sleep, their bodies release moisture that can irritate and wake them up. Eucalyptus fibers are one of nature’s best moisture absorbers, drawing moisture away from the infant to allow for a continuous and comfortable night’s sleep. Eucalyptus is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as one of the fastest growing renewable resources. Plus, the environmental impact of harvesting eucalyptus is the lowest of any other natural fiber so parents and infants enjoy a more eco-friendly night’s sleep.
100% Natural Latex
Latex is an open-celled material allowing air to flow through the inner core of the Pebble Mattress, making a more oxygen rich environment and increasing breathability, a priority for all Nook products. Unlike standard innerspring mattresses that require a layer of plastic around the springs, the Nook Pebble uses only natural latex at its core. This provides growing infants a greater level of comfort and support in an environmentally friendly way. Natural latex is not only breathable and firm; it’s also naturally hypoallergenic, anti-microbial and anti-mite. Rubber trees are among nature’s most efficient CO2 absorbers. A renewable resource, natural latex can be harvested from these rubber trees without doing harm to the trees. By keeping resources intact, Nook supports a more oxygen-rich and eco-balanced environment.
Zinc is one of the most powerful natural, non-toxic microbe resistors available today. All-natural zinc infused into eucalyptus fibers restricts microbes, mites, fungi and mold from adhering to the sleep surface and keeps the mattress surface fresh and clean. Nook’s patented zinc fabric technology clings fast to fibers, allowing for successive washes without loss of potency. Yet, it’s gentle enough to touch delicate infant skin without irritation. Tough and sensitive, zinc is the gentle giant of microbe-resistance. Because zinc occurs in nature, it is environmentally easy to produce. Plus, it is a water-based formula, completely free of toxic solvents or other harsh chemicals making it gentle enough to qualify for the bluesign® certification for safety.
Certified Organic Wool
Sheep know best, wool is an amazingly effective fire retardant with ignition temperatures three times that of cotton or synthetics. Certified organic wool prevents infant overheating by pulling excess heat away from infant skin and into the inner layers of the mattress. Organic wool is nature’s fire retardant, and an efficient one at that. It is the ideal natural alternative because it removes chemicals, synthetic hormones and pesticides from the production process and the nursery. Nook supports the US economy by buying certified organic wool from family-owned farms in Northern California and Oregon. Buying local organic guarantees good grazing practices and sustains the land for future generations.
Certified Organic Cotton
Nook uses only Certified Organic Cotton in all of our textiles. None of our cotton ever touches chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Nook’s organic cotton weave creates a breathable and comfortable sleep surface that keeps infants cool in warm environments and warm in cool environments by naturally regulating temperature and preventing overheating. Unlike synthetics, organic cotton is a naturally durable yet gentle fiber that can be washed successively at high temperatures without compromising its benefits. At Nook, safety and health are the two most critical considerations. Using chemical-free, organic cotton promotes a safer environment for everyone who comes into contact with Nook products. Farmers are healthier. Infants are healthier. Everyone is happier.
PETE is short for polyethylene teraphthalate, a fancy name for a clean and easily recycled plastic. “Good” PETE is so safe, the FDA approves it for bottling water and considers it a healthy alternative to toxic synthetics. PETE is a uniquely sturdy material used inside the Pebble Mattress to promote airflow by creating open spaces. Thanks to the strength of PETE, these inner airways maintain their integrity even under the weight of an infant or toddler. Unlike plastics- like vinyl or BPA found in many standard mattresses, “good” PETE is both non-toxic and non-leaching, so much so, that it qualifies for the Oeko-Tex® safety certification. Infants breathe cleaner, healthier air for a safer night’s sleep. The “good” PETE in Nook products is easily recycled which means a reduction in unnecessary plastics in our world.
Thank you Nook for all you do to keep our babies sleeping safer and for utilizing products and standards that benefit our Earth. This is great information!
Matt Genova, Senior Vice President of Sales
Matt grew up in his parents’ furniture factory and polished his acquired skills at the University of Southern California. Matt lives in Newport Beach with his wife, their 3 amazing boys, and 2 lazy dogs.
By Shannon Harlow, Sweet Pea Baby Planners Dallas
Despite your beliefs in how our dear Mother Earth came to be you can’t help but marvel at her magnificence and recognize that she too requires our full cooperation to maintain her stability. This wonderful planet is our only home and if we fail to care for her, she will not be capable of supporting our future generations.
It often takes the birth of an offspring for us to be made fully aware of how our actions can affect our planet well into the future. We can do our part to cease further pollution, global warming, and other devastating environmental issues by reusing, recycling, cloth diapering, using eco friendly products and much more. However, did you know that a few juvenile product manufacturers have assisted further by creating great baby gear out of recycled materials? A win-win for both moms and Mama Earth!?
Spot On Square was founded by parents Bob and Nicole Springer. They founded their company with the belief system that children should be surrounded by simple, eco-conscious, quality products. The Eicho crib caught my eye with its gorgeous, minimalistic style. Spot On Square worked some serious magic to make this American made beauty eco-friendly too. The Eicho collection is made of 100% recycled/reclaimed, formaldehyde-free MDF and comes in a bright white non-toxic finish. Go Spot On Square!
Just when you thought all plastic toys had to be banned from within 20 yards of your house, you can rest easy because Green Toys has come to the rescue. Not only are they super adorable, but all Green Toys products are 100% made in the USA. The clincher is that they use recycled milk jugs as the main ingredient in creating their toys. They further claim that every pound of recycled milk jugs used to make their toys saves 3,000 AAA batteries and enough electricity to power a TV for 3 weeks and a laptop running for a month! Also, they just added a counter to the home page that shows how many plastic milk jugs they have recycled to date. Current number is 6,139,136. I seriously love these toys!
Zoë b Organics was founded by a mom who thought we needed to take better care of our planet for the sake of our children. They make wonderfully safe pacifiers, teethers, dishes and more but they JUST released Zoë b Biodegradable Beach Toys. These toys are created with Mirel bioplastic made from corn, instead of petroleum. They biodegrade in soil and water in 2-3 years, not 500 like ordinary plastic. They are made in the US and they contain zero BPA, PVC or phthalates. Yes, they are durable and designed to withstand children, the beach and the hot summer sun. These toys are even dishwasher-safe. How could you not adore these?
I must admit that after receiving a Go Gaga diaper bag for one of my Baby Dream Gear classes, I fell absolutely head over heels. It was only very recently that my adoration led me to the discovery that these fab diaper bags are also made from 72% post consumer recycled fabric by a fair trade certified manufacturer. Not only is this super sleek tote both mom and dad friendly, the patent pending strap distributes the weight of the bag across your back and shoulders, so it won’t slide off or cut into your neck. It also features stroller straps too. I tell everyone about this bag and now I have a whole other reason to spread the word!
I have truly been inspired by the amount of mothers on Etsy.com who are creating adorable baby gear/nursery products made from recycled materials. From baby booties created from recycled cashmere sweaters to the adorable nursery rugs made from salvaged fabrics, to baby blankets hand-stitched from second-hand onsies, there is a lot to discover in Etsy. I am glad to see these moms are reusing materials to make super cute and unique items all while bringing in some additional funds to their household. Please support these moms and their efforts to stay at home, bring in some dough to their families and keep materials out of landfills.
I know there are SO many other great recycled finds out there to discover! We applaud all companies who do their part to save our awesome planet. Thank you. And, here’s the best part of all!! Green Toys, Zoe B Organics and Go Gaga have agreed to give away products to loyal Sweet Pea Baby Planners followers! To win, just “Like” Sweet Pea Baby Planners on Facebook and share how you’re celebrating earth day on our page.
By Kim Walls, M.S.
You should feel great when you shop for organic foods, especially for your baby! You are making a conscious effort to reduce exposure to pesticides and preservatives for your family and the planet. But have you looked at your personal care products lately? The products you use every day – from the polish on your toes to the conditioner in your hair – likely contain toxic ingredients that can pass into the body through the skin, potentially threatening your health.
While many parents worry about their kids’ exposure to the chemicals and pollutants found in food and the air, the absorption of toxins through the skin is a health risk that is often overlooked. Skin acts as our barrier to the environment, but it is designed to be permeable – meaning substances both healthy and unhealthy pass through the skin into the body. Health risks including increased rates of cancer, allergies, mental illness, nervous system disorders, endocrine dysfunction and many others have been unequivocally linked to the increased chemicals present in our environment. While everyone is at risk from such exposure, babies and young children pay the highest price.
Baby skin is quite different from adult skin in ways that are not immediately evident. Most parents recognize that baby skin is more sensitive to the sun. But what parents may not know is baby skin is five times thinner, and has more surface area, than adult skin. While its immune functions are under development, baby skin doesn’t produce enough oil to protect itself. Consequently, baby skin is very reactive to environmental irritants. Skin is a window into our personal health, so it is not surprising to learn that skin problems account for about 30% of unscheduled visits to the pediatrician’s office for babies.
Choosing green and all natural skincare products for your child can help reduce the incidence of worrisome rashes, hives and irritation that frequently occur in reaction to personal care products. By embracing all natural products with organic ingredients you teach your children healthy habits for both body and planet.
Certified organic ingredients are grown without chemical pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers – stuff that quite simply isn’t good for you or the environment. Many common ingredients, especially those with fatty structures, like oils, retain the residue of pesticides and fungicides used to “protect” them while they grow. These residues can be passed directly into the body. Organic ingredients are processed without chemicals in an attempt to provide manufacturers and ultimately consumers with the purest products. What’s more, organic ingredients are naturally more potent antioxidants — as much as 30% more — than non-organic ingredients. This means that products made with organic ingredients do a better job of handling the free radicals (harmful molecules that are linked to a host of chronic conditions and the aging process) our bodies are exposed to and produce daily.
Since 1990, the Department of Agriculture has regulated organic farming practices in the U.S. and set standards for organic ingredients imported from other countries. While there is room for improvement on the government’s efforts, the USDA’s certified organic label is a baseline from which consumers can reliably determine if the products they purchase benefit from organics. So look for a “certified organic” label on your produce and personal care products.
By becoming aware of the true risks in our environment and the basics of natural baby skincare you can make smart, confident decisions about your family’s health. Today, we have access to a whole new array of chemical free products that are widely available. For Episencial products, we are firmly committed to providing parents with the highest quality of all natural skincare significantly derived from organics as a means of supporting an actively healthy environment for both the body and the planet. And all it takes to advocate the same is to read the label on your personal care products and make purchasing decisions that support the health of your family and the planet.
Shopping organically helps protect our babies and children and also helps diminish the widespread and ongoing use of the toxic chemicals contained in most products. The best resources for many such products are right around the corner. Boutique children’s shops, natural markets and specialty shops will give you plenty of good advice and options. When we, as a unified and informed community, insist on pure products, we leverage a powerful influence on manufacturers. Together, it is possible to provide healthy and more effective skincare for our families and a better future for our children.
As a pioneer in the maternity concierge and baby planning industry, April Beach, Sweet Pea Founder was interviewed by Baby Lifestyles regarding Pregnant In Heels.
Love Pregnant in Heels? Learn What Baby Planning Really Is!
With the influx of baby gear, safety concerns, parenting philosophies, sleep plans and a never ending list of things to do; it’s no wonder Bravo grasped the concept and launched a successfully dramatic show about women hunting for the best for baby. Though ‘Pregnant in Heels’ star and maternity concierge Rosie Pope is certainly not the first maternity concierge, the national attention is directing eyes back to the baby planning industry and people are asking questions.
For many, ‘Pregnant in Heels’ is the introduction to the world of baby planners. Being a reality show, many do not understand that the clients featured are asking for the extreme. You might be asking, do all baby planners cater to these absurd requests? Can a client ask for these extreme demands of a baby planner? Are these the only types of people who hire professional baby planners? Or so just what is a maternity concierge anyway? READ ON…
Since 2006, Sweet Pea Baby Planners has been pleased to be invited into the lives of expecting families. As the premier national baby planning firm, we will continue to provide the foremost services and unsurpassed support to our clients. We are grateful to have contributed to establish the baby planning and maternity concierge industry and that our founder, April Beach, also co-founded the International Baby Planner Association. In this we are happy to share today’s press release about the IBPA with you. Thank you again for the honor of asking us to be involved is such a precious time of life.
For Immediate Release: The International Baby Planner Association Celebrates Another Successful Year in Establishing Baby Planning & Maternity Concierge Services as a New Industry
IBPA, the Premier Organization for Professional Baby Planners Successfully Establishes a New Industry to Help Empower New and Expectant Parents
IBPA is pleased to announce another successful year as the first trade association for the baby planning and maternity concierge industry. We are proud to represent all of our professional baby planners globally and we continue to help our industry gain exposure as well as credibility. Our press release shares major highlights of our organization’s accomplishments over the years and is excited to continue to help grow the industry!
Read our press release here: For Immediate Release, The International Baby Planner Association Celebrates Another Successful Year…
from April Beach
As new parents, there are numerous issues we pay attention to; good nutrition, healthy sleep, safety, a good milk supply, removing toxins from our home and so on. But, what about all of the things we can’t control? What about the things we don’t even know about?
As my kids are getting older and I am not in those delicate “baby days” anymore, I am able to pay closer attention to those uncontrolled variables; especially when they are thrown in my face. Each time I become more aware of an issue, I will share it with you. I know as new parents that you do not have the time or capacity to absorb unnecessary topics; so I only bring those to your attention that are really, really important. I’ll share more about our family’s story regarding environmental poisoning when the time is right; but for now, just see below.
Sweet Pea Baby Planners blog and our Facebook page are trusted and quick resources for you to utilize. Here’s something that you should be aware of…
Did you know that in 2005, the Bush/ Cheney Energy Bill exempted natural gas (and other energy) drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Air Act? Well, this was news to me! Essentially, the provision took the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) off the job. Today, we have no control over protecting our kids’ air and water.