I went to the Cirque du Bebe Baby and Kids Fair with my very pregnant sister, saw a bunch of useful things for new parents, and even learned a little about the best way for kids to learn how to ride a bike!
Quick disclaimer; I am a not a mom, so I can’t offer a parents point of view. I’m just an attendee sharing some of the neat finds of the day.
Bottles, Blankets and Other Soft Things
Yoomi is a UK brand that offers an innovative self-warming bottle that heats the milk but not the bottle. You can microwave or boil a removable piece so the milk warms as it passes though, without heating the bottle itself. The importers of Yoomi also create molds of baby feet/hands, and offer a microwavable plush toy (stuffed animal) that helps keep baby warm and cuddled. Check out their Philippine Facebook page for updates and tutorial videos.
So, apparently blankets are dangerous for newborn babies, since they sometimes suffocate if they move around too much and the blanket wraps around them. I suppose that’s why I always see babies wrapped up in blanket cocoons whenever they’re asleep.
Halo offers wearable blankets that are essentially soft, fuzzy dresses for your baby. They’re pretty cute, and look a little better than a Snuggie.
A few sleep tips from their booth include; remove all soft bedding and toys from the crib during nap time, don’t put your baby to sleep on soft surfaces, and don’t use wedges to prop your baby up or keep him/her on his/her back.
Diapers. Diapers everywhere. Although reusable diapers seem kind of gross, diapers are just too expensive to keep on buying and throwing away! Not to mention the waste (pardon the pun). Charlie Banana, Bamboo Dappy, and Clue Bebe were three reusable diaper brands that I saw at the fair.
After doing a little more research, Bamboo Dappy, a local Philippine brand, stuck out the most to me. Created in 2008 after owner Jenny Chua discovered how awful diapers are for the environment, their diapers are made from real bamboo, which is soft, absorbent, hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial. The company also donates 10 pesos to the World Wildlife Fund with every purchase.
Baby Shoes and Accessories
Most babies look cute no matter what you put them in, but go that extra mile and get your son or daughter elephant shoes from Australian-brand Walnut Melbourne and you’ll love watching them hobble around even more. These quality shoes are cute, comfortable and affordable.
In addition to cute elephant shoes that I wish came in my size, this booth also offered locally designed and created baby headbands from Mikka & Me. The headbands are made completely of cloth and elastic, so there are no hard bits to hurt a baby’s soft scalp.
Toys are the best part of being a kid. Toys, being carefree, and that awesome flexibility that lets you do tricks on the playground monkeybars without dislocating a shoulder.
Did you know that training wheels actually hinder a child from developing proper balance and bike-riding technique? When you make a turn on a bike, you naturally want to tilt the bike slightly in the direction you’re turning–something that is impossible when training wheels are in the way.
Strider bikes don’t have pedals. Instead, they rely on a child’s balancing skills to function. Instead of pedaling to make the bike move, kids use their legs to run and then balance. When they’re gliding along smoothly, they can use the foot rests and maintain their balance while moving. If they are about to fall, they just have to put a foot down to catch themselves. The bike design is intuitive, innovative, and can help your child learn how to balance much quicker than with training wheels.
The seats can be adjusted so one bike can be used by a 3-year-old as well as a 7-year-old. The fellow who imports the bikes even gave a demonstration, so I’ve seen first-hand that the bikes can also be ridden by adults.
When I visited the Ogalala booth, it was like walking into a toy store. So much so that I knew I wouldn’t be able to pick just one thing to write about, so I asked one of the representatives there what her favorite toy was. She pointed out the Water Wow workbook, which is a great toy to leave in the car when you want to distract kids. Just fill the pen with water, and let your child write in the water-responsive workbook. When the water dries, the educational workbook will look brand new and ready to draw on once again.
Soaps, Detergents and Cleaners
It never crossed my mind to use different laundry detergent for babies and special dish soap for bottles. I suppose when you think about it, it makes sense, but can get a bit pricey. Here are some cool brands that would like to help you keep your baby (and his or her things) clean.
Seventh Generation offers everything from baby wipes, shampoo and wash, toy and nursery cleaner, laundry detergent, bottle cleaner and more. Their products are USDA Certified Biobased, which ensures that their products are at least 95 percent plant-based. For those of you who don’t have kids, they also offer non-baby formulated biobased dish soap, laundry detergent, and all-purpose cleaner.
Charlie’s Soap, originally from North Carolina, USA, seems like a great product for adults to use, as well as children. This laundry detergent is safe for high efficiency washing machines, eliminates the need for softeners, is hypoallergenic and doesn’t leave gross laundry guck.
This booth had some jars on display; one Charlie’s Soap mixed with water, and another held a local detergent with water. Local detergents sometimes mix chalk in with their product, which visibly sunk to the bottom of the second jar. The jar of Charlie’s Soap, on the other hand, was clear and bubbly. One of my biggest pet peeves since moving back has been leftover laundry detergent residue on my clothes and in the washing machine. This seems like a great, high-quality alternative to the detergent I’m using now.
Visit their Philippine Facebook page for more information.
These two are sister brands. Cycles detergent imports raw materials and manufactures their product in the Philippines. The tagline on their website reads “Mild on delicate clothes does not mean mild on your baby’s skin.” Cradle baby bottle cleaner is made from edible materials to ensure baby safety even when ingested. Cradle soap is so safe that they have instructions for washing your fruit with it! Their latest line is called Cycles Sensitive, and offers baby skin care products.
I know this wasn’t my usual type of post, but I hope you learned something valuable, relevant, and interesting nonetheless! And if not, you’ve probably stopped reading by now, so that works too.