A changing pad for your peanut…

… The Peanut Changer

 

 

We originally bought this changing pad [ made by Keekaroo ] mostly due to its funky design and after the first usages we quickly realized that’s its also awesome because of its easy clean up. Now if you have a little mess, just wipe it clean - No more washing covers in case you had a standard pad before.

As we had our fare shares of accidents I noticed the peanut shape keeps the liquids in the center, making it an easy & clean swipe with a paper towel. And our daughter also really liked the surface. Kind of smooth. Oh and it is water resistant, so the fluids can’t penetrate into the pad and create molds or other yucky stuff. And even if you have a super active, wiggly baby the pad is slip resistant and doesn’t just move off the changing table. Of course, try your best to always use the safety strap.

Most of the items we review on Designerbaby.com are free of all the chemicals you don’t want near a baby. And so is the Keekaroo:

• Latex-FREE
• PVC-FREE
• BPA-FREE
• Phthalate-FREE
• Formamide-FREE
• Non-Toxic

It comes in so many (actually 6) colors – its easy to find one for your nursery style. You can get one here, just pick your color. Beware: May cause analysis paralysis.
Nice to know: It is also JPMA Certification Program certified.

Please meet Sam & Julia

Discover the world of Sam & Julia in the Mouse Mansion

 

 

Ok, this book is recommended for 4 years and up but I would say it is never too early to meet Sam & Julia. And so does my daughter - she fell in love with those two little mice when my oldest and dearest friend (gosh, almost 30 years now, this makes me feel old!) gave her the book "Das Mäusehaus". My friend lives now in Amsterdam where the book quickly became a super success after launching in 2011. Since then it has been licensed to Japan, France, Italy, Korea, Turkey, Australia and soon it will be published in the USA "The Mouse Mansion".

So, let me introduce you... Sam & Julia are 2 mice kids living in the Mouse Mansion and their stories bring the mansion to life. Julia is pretty curious and fresh, Sam on the other hand is a bit on the shy side. Either way they are best friends and experience many funny adventures in the Mouse Mansion. It took the author Karina Schaapman 3 years to build the Mouse Mansion, in which all photos of the childrens book were taken. It is nearly two meters wide and three meters high and has over a hundred rooms. They are filled with adorable little details which are all hand made by the author. Its a work of art made out of fabric from differenct centuries, paper [ e.g. see picture of little pitchers ], wood & wax. Karina says "It all began with sewing a patchwork blanket of five by eight inches. I remembered such a blanket from the book by Clinge Doorenbos. Then I made a crib which required a room to put it in and just by chance there was a cardboard orange box in my room. I put it on its side and decided it was big enough to house a kitchen, a living room, a bedroom and a bathroom." The Mouse Mansion is a cozy and comfortable world with lots of adventures happening. A lovely little minitatur world where the little ones get lost in their imagination. If you speak Dutch or German, here is a fun video about the auther and background info on the book.

The Mouse Manison is already for sale in Netherland, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Korea, Turkey, Australia and soon available for sale in the USA.

Twinkle twinkle little star

...sweet dreams in super soft PJs

 

 

I found our first KicKee PJs at a well curated store in Santa Monica, CA. Our daughter was not even born back then. I saw saw it, picked it up, loved the fabric & design and bought it. Since then I bought about 6 more (and she is only about a year old!). What we love about them? They are super soft [ Made with 95% Bamboo Viscose, 5% Spandex (Lycra) ], strechty and basically grow with your baby [ not like most other baby cloth at that age which you use a few times and baby has out grown them already ]. Oh, and did I mention they come in super cute designs. If you have a girl as well, go for the ruffeled ones. Too cute! They come with "paws", so the inside of the foot is lined with super soft fleece to keep baby's feet warm and the bottom of the foot is embroidered to avoid slipping.™ Good to know: On the KickKee website the ones I bought so far are in a section called FOOTSIES and not in the PJ section. Just FYI. Visit the KicKee website or order an adorable footsie on Amazon.

Lefty Munchler

You eat with your eyes [first] ...

 

 

Our daughter recently started to join a little playgroup/ pre-school [ a local community effort ] and all kids get together at 10 AM, sit down on their little chairs and eat their snacks brought from home. To make it a bit more exciting and treat it as a special occasion she got a new lunch bag. When she was born we already had a dog at home [ a rescued lab & border collie mix ] and they became best friends quickly. They constantly entertain as much as they tease each other. At times its hilarious. Anyways, her love for animals, dogs in particular grew from the first day she came home from the hospital. So, it was natural to get her THAT lunch bag. THAT lunch bag is a dog shaped BYO Munchler Lunchbox made by BUILT NY and designed by award-winning children's book illustrator Stephen Savage. The bag comes with a little cute tag introducing Lefty, the dog to your child "Lefty is a clever little puppy. He loves to play catch and run in the park, but most of all he loves to EAT. He'll eat anything - meat, bones, veggies, even sneakers. Take good care of him and he'll be your best friend."

Good to know... Munchlers are made from polypropylene, a washable plastic, and are lead free. They are insulated to keep food and drinks fresh. Best of all, Munchlers unzip completely to serve as a placemat [ see picture ] and are wiped clean in a second. BUILT also offers other animal shaped lunch boxes like Benny the tiger, Meadow the rabbit or Boo the pig. They have little handles for little hands and they measure about 7.8" x 6.0" x 5.0" [ 19.8 cm x 15.2 cm x 12.7 cm ].

Get your Lefty lunch bag here.

The PlayTray

No more food mess, knocked over liquids or scratches in your table from kids cutlery

 

 

We decided on a STOKKE Tripp Trapp early on as it has been a long loved family piece for a long time before our daughter was born. My little sisters (much younger ... but thats another story) grew up with the Tripp Trapp and as it basically grows with your child from as young as 4 months to your seventies, it was a no brainer. BUT... It doesn't come with a practical tray and has to be pushed to the dining table etc.

Here comes in the brilliant innovation called PlayTray. Kind of your child's own personal little table. Baby can eat anywhere now. But not just eating, but playing, discovering, do arts and much more. Its spillsafe with the raised up edge and super easy to clean (just wipe and voila). Its designed in Danmark and free of Phthalate, BPA, Latex, PVC and all those nasty things. Its also safe in the sense that your child can no longer push away from the dining table and do some dangerous rocking.

On a personal note they have amazing customer service as we had a small problem with our tray and they shipped a replacement all the way from Germany to Panama! Free of charge!

To get a PlayTray you can try one of the following:
In Germany visit play-tray.de.
If you need one in the rest of Europe have a look here.
In the USA you will be able to find the PlayTray on Amazon.

City exploring

Valencia, Spain

 

 

Ever since I left Germany many years ago my husband and I are always keeping our eyes and ears open for new places around the world we could call home one day. We have lived together in the States (in the smallest state called Rhode Island) and are now living in the tropics - in Panama.

This spring we decided to pay a visit to Valencia, Spain. We had 5 magical days there in many ways. But the most impressive and satisfying part was how stroller/ bike & kid friendly this city is. Coming from a UNESCO world heritage site ourselves (we live in the old town of Panama City called Casco Viejo filled with Spanish & French colonial buildings, narrow streets and even narrower side walks) where its almost impossible to push a stroller (well, unless you go on the streets...) we realized it made such an impact on our experience, such a relief. It was smooth strolling anywhere, even in the old part of the city which is quite big. Kids can find a park and place to play frequently. The biggest park is the Jardi del Turia which stretches around the city like a ribbon. What used to be a river has been transformed into a 7 kilometer promenade of flowers, parks, ponds, playgrounds, fountains and sports facilities.

We rented bikes and wound our way through the park to the stunning City of Arts and Sciences. A stunning architecture surrounded by beautiful clear waters you should not miss. You can rent clear kayaks and those hamster balls which looked like so much fun. Or visit the planetarium, IMAX theater and laserium ( all under one roof of the "L'Hemisfèric"), the open-air aquarium "Oceanografic" (the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world.) - Valencia's opera & performing arts center ("Palau de les Arts"), the science museum ('El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe") and the walkway/ garden called "L'Umbracle". So much to explore - you can easily fill 2 days just in that park alone. Oh and the best part is it brings you almost to the beach & port. Its an amazing complex not just for kids and its highly educational.

The other end of the Jardi del Turia is home of the Bioparc Zoo, a new generation zoo with boundless nature within the city of Valencia. Their concept is called zoo-immersion: A philosophy and design technique that attemps to immerse the visitor in a faithful re-creation of natural habitats. The animals, the vegetation and the landscape form a setting that invites the visitors to discover the complexity of the natural ecosystems surrounding them.

Another must visit is the Mercado Central which (older) children will love as its very lively, lots of colors and mountains of veggies & fruit etc to look at. Its not only one of the largest markets in Europe (500+ stalls) but one of the most beautiful ones in Spain. Try and get a spot at the tapas bar "Central Bar" inside created by Michelin-star chef Ricard Camarena.