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Mom” is home with a newborn and a toddler in diapers, and the SaraBear® Diaper Caddy by Munchkin has proved to be an absolute must-have in her household! Rather than rush up the stairs to get diapering essentials each time one of the girls needs to be changed, everything is now at “Mom’s” fingertips, from the diaper cream to the super adorable eco-friendly diapers by the Honest Company that actress Jessica Alba founded. (Have you seen them? They take cuteness to a whole new level with their prints!)

The PVC-free SaraBear® Diaper Caddy was invented by a mom who wanted to create an easier way to have everything parents need at their fingertips when caring for a baby. Putting all of the baby care essentials in a gorgeous Shaker style basket with dividers and pockets makes going from room to room with baby a breeze! Each caddy is made of real wood, and a handle is attached on either end of the basket that can be collapsed to lie along the side of the basket. The lovely printed liner is made from a heavy-weight, 100% cotton fabric. The caddy can hold everything from baby wipes and lotions to burp cloths, an extra change of clothes, diapers and swabs.

Mom” also was pleased to learn that the diaper caddy contains no PVC or formaldehyde. The wood stain on the basket is water-based and lead-free, and even the packaging was designed without the use of plastics.

This would make an excellent baby shower gift for the expecting mom, as well – just tuck all of the items inside the basket for baby and wrap a large bow on top of the handle!

To learn more about the SaraBear® Diaper Caddy or to locate a retailer near you, please visit Munchkin.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Bathtime struggles will cease when these educational and exciting bath toys are brought into play! BPA-free and just plain FUN, little ones will once again love their bathtime routine!

Wonder Waterway

Engage your little one with this eye-catching Wonder Waterway from Munchkin! For ages 6 months and up, this adorable toy can be stacked to create a fun waterway, or taken apart to be played with individually in the water. This cute little find is a fabulous toy to help your baby build hand-eye coordination with ease!

White Hot® Super Safety Bath Ducky

“Rubber ducky, you’re the one… you make bath-time so much fun!” Your child will be singing this tune while splashing and playing with this rubber duck which boasts a special “White Hot” disc at the bottom that tells you when the water is too hot to handle, and then lets you know when it’s just right to bathe your baby. But your little one won’t know the difference – she will be having too much fun making up games with one of three ducks – a firefighter, police office or mermaid! What “Mom” loves is that the ducks are watertight, so no mildew will build up inside, which is often the case with water toys!

Octopus Ring Toss

It’s a water sprinkler and ring toss game in one! Your baby will love to watch as water poured into the octous’s head trickles down his arms, or play an exciting game of ring toss while in the tub! Easily mounted onto the wall, the Octopus Ring Toss by Skip Hop is made of soft, no-bump material.

Starfish Stay-Put Stacker

Every child loves this classic toy – which Skip Hop has brought to the bath for added enjoyment! Your little bathing beauty will love to stack and re-stack the rings as the Starfish Stacker stays firmly attached to the tub floor. For an added dexterity challenge as baby gets older, let the stacker float on top of the water while your child tries to stack the rings! Plus, kids will love discovering that the rings stick and cling to the tub wall when wet.

*Companies generously provided images and samples for this piece.*

Munchkin Click Lock™ Insulated Straw Cups and Sippy Cups

Leak-proof, BPA-free, and just plain SMART – the new Click Lock™ Insulated Straw Cups and Sippy Cups from Munchkin have “Mom” raving about them! Her independent toddler likes to do everything herself, and the regular sippy cups can be challenging for her to place on correctly, and more importantly – tightly! Well, Munchkin has created an ingenious solution, an easy-to-use cup that literally clicks in place, no need to keep screwing it around and around until is on tightly enough for it not to leak! “Mom” can hear the click when her toddler places it on correctly, and her little one feels confident in her abilities. Love it!

Click Lock™ cups are available in an assortment of vibrant colors, fun artwork, licensed characters, and styles including sippy, trainer, straw, flip straw and Big Kid™ spout-less. www.munchkin.com

Re-Play Tableware

New to the toddler tableware and cutlery line-up is Re-Play, all made from recycled milk jugs – no BPA, PVC or phthalates at all! In bright, cheerful colors, the affordable line of divided plates, cereal & snack bowls, sippy cups, and cutlery arrive in multi-packs that cost a reasonable $3-$6. The cutlery is large and toddler-friendly, boosting confidence, and the divided plates provide a proper portion size for serving all of your child’s favorites! Extremely durable and dishwasher-safe, all the products are manufactured and packaged in the USA, as well! What “Mom” especially loves about the new Re-Play line is the awesome recycled/recyclable packaging. Easy to take out with nothing to cut, the packaging is easily broken down for recycling. www.re-play.com

Eco-Ditty Organic Sandwich and Snack Bags from Reusable and Green

Just say no to plastic bags, and encourage your little ones to “think green” from a young age by having them decorate their very own snack pouches, made from 100% cotton! Washable and completely reusable, snacks and sandwiches can be tucked in neatly for any time of the day! This new item from Reusable and Green will definitely be a hit with the whole household, and would also make a fun activity at a birthday party that tiny guests can take home goodies in, as well! Printed versions are also available. www.reusableandgreen.com.

*Companies generously provided samples and images for this article.*

Baby can twist, bend and chomp on this non-toxic Twisty® Figure 8 Teether Toy from Munchkin! Winner of the Parents™ Choice® Gold Award, it is no secret why this is a hit with babies ages 6 months and up! Easy to hold, with bold colors, a fun rattle sound and soothing textures for sore gums – this is one toy that will be packed again and again in your diaper bag! It is definitely a hit at “Mom’s” house – even toddlers enjoy bending it into different shapes!

The Twisty® Figure 8 Teether Toy is available nationwide at Target, as well as online at Munchkin.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Fall is here, and as the weather starts to cool down, now is the time to head outdoors with the family for a day hike! No need to pack a tent or sleeping bag – just carry the essentials for a fun-filled morning or afternoon! What are “Mom’s” top picks this season? She has rounded up a bevy of eco-essentials for a successful trip!

Top Fall Hiking Eco-Essentials

Ditch the plastic baggies and have your little ones each choose their own reusable zippered snack bag from Munchkin! Available in a set of three – Munchkin’s Three Snack Bags can hold carrots, grapes, celery sticks, and other goodies, such as trail mix. The durable, stylish pouches are machine washable after a long day spent hiking!

Two nutritious snacks that pack well for hiking and can be tucked into Munchkin’s snack bags are Sun-Maid’s Cape Cod Cranberries and Fruit Bits! These naturally-sweetened dried fruit snacks will be a huge hit with little hikers (and big hikers, too!) “Mom” loves the Fruit Bits – there is something for everyone in this medley, including California raisins, apricots, plums, cherries apples, and peaches!

Keep yourself hydrated while being planet-friendly with the heavy-duty BottlesUp Glass Water Bottle! We know what you are thinking – glass, on a hike? These are extremely thick water bottles, meant for everyday wear and tear, made from recycled glass (up to 75% recycled post-consumer glass sourced on-site). These uniquely designed bottles were designed with the human hand in mind – the midsection taper and bright silicon rings provide an easy, comfortable grasp of the bottle. BottlesUp Glass Water Bottles are free of Bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and polycarbonates.

Pop a package or two of Dr. Sears Family Essentials POPUMZ All-Natural Crisps into your day-pack for a crunchy whole-grain snack while on the trail! These new whole grain crisps are packed with protein, fiber, and Omega-3 DHA, and come in 6 delicious flavors, including Chocolate, Vanilla, Caramel, Barbeque, Ranch and Cheddar.

A Tiny Green Mom favorite! For the tiniest of hikers, the eco-classic carrier™ by kokopax offers a safe yet luxe ride for babies & toddlers up to 35 lbs. This eco-fabulous carrier is made of 100% cotton canvas fabric printed using a combination of Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 and GOTS eco-friendly certified dyes. The carrier features an adjustable frame that provides a perfect fit for either parent, a stowable, softly padded hip belt, a 5-point safety harness, a convenient pocket with button closure, a toy ring for keeping baby’s favorite toy close at hand, and a kickstand for holding the eco-classic carrier™ upright when off your back. The eco-classic carrier™ comes in six bold planet-friendly fabric patterns, including flutter, road trip, whisper, sprout, bubbles take-two and pax. Each carrier arrives with its own stylish and matching koko™ carry bag.

Image: John Thompson / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

*Companies generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Light up baby’s nursery with this playful & friendly portable nightlight from Munchkin! Perfect for nighttime diaper changes, feedings, and checks – the nightlight provides just the right amount of soothing light to tend to baby without rousing your little one from slumber.

The rechargeable & reusable nightlight lasts up to 8 hours on a single charge, and comes with four soft color modes that can also alternate to provide a comforting light to baby and parents. Plus, the nightlight automatically shuts off after 30 minutes!

To locate a retailer near you, or to order online, visit www.munchkin.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Greening Baby’s Nursery on a Budget

For new moms, creating a safe, comfortable and planet-friendly nursery on a budget can often be challenging! How can the average household stick to a tight budget and still provide a peaceful, “green” environment for the newest member of the household? The following tips & suggestions show that yes, it IS possible for the average household to create a space that is kind to baby, the wallet and the environment!

Choose Low to Zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) Paint

Olympic® Premium Zero VOC Interior Paint is the only paint available in any color, available exclusively at Lowe’s, making it easy if you want to live and decorate “green.” You can choose from more than 1,200 colors in Olympic Paint’s palette or custom color match any color for the perfect hue for baby’s nursery. Unlike traditional paints, Olympic Premium Zero VOC Interior Paint is virtually odorless, which means you can breathe easy and have a more enjoyable painting experience, while contributing to the health of your home and the environment. Olympic Premium® paint starts at $18 a gallon, so not only is it good for indoor air quality, but it’s great for your budget, too! www.lowes.com.

Opt for Natural

From the furnishings to the crib sheets to the mattress – natural truly is better. One of the best items to “splurge” on for baby is an organic crib mattress. According to Shannon Choe, Founder of Premier Baby Concierge, “New parents are usually shocked to learn that most traditional mattresses have a vinyl cover with PVC, which is one of the most toxic plastics, and are foam made from petroleum with the toxic additive polyurethane and that these are tied to respiratory issues and are known carcinogens. Babies sleep a lot and spend a lot of time in their cribs, so the mattress is obviously one of the most important purchases parents will make and they should definitely learn more.”

However, for those on a strict budget, this simply may not be an option in this economic climate! This is where Natural Mat comes in – they have created an Organic Top Mat that is 100% Organic lambswool in a quilted cover. The Organic Top Mat is an economical way to give your precious cherub the key benefits of an organic mattress, at less than half the price. It fits easily over any existing mattress, protecting baby from breathing in any toxic chemicals, and as it rolls up easily, it can be utilized as a travel mat for naps on-the-go! www.naturalmatusa.com.

For sheets, purchase two fitted organic cotton sheets for starters. Babies do not require a top sheet, and having two fitted sheets, one on the mattress and one clean in the drawer, is truly all you need. Kushies offers lovely, super-soft 100% Organic Cotton sheets, in a variety of hues for baby’s nursery. At just $25.49, two sheets will not break the bank, and will have everyone breathing easier! www.kushiesonline.com

Ronique Gibson, of Stagetecture, chimes in, “For inexpensive décor and baby toys opt for natural wood objects over plastic formed ones. Instead of choosing expensive out-of-the box toys, use simple household items, like wood kitchen utensils and pots and pans for noise makers.”

For bedding and furnishings, look for natural materials made from jute, seagrass, wool or cotton for area rugs and simple window treatments. Consider using sheets and simple materials from a fabric store to keep costs down for window treatments and wall hangings.”

Clean & Freshen the Nursery Without Chemicals

Keeping a handle on germs with a newborn in the house is top-of-mind for most parents! When cleaning baby’s nursery, choose non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning supplies that will not expose your child to harsh chemicals.

Munchkin offers a powerful, portable Arm & Hammer Nursery Freshener that contains the power of baking soda & scented with soothing lavender that can be placed in diaper pails, diaper bags, changing tables, hampers, and more to keep odors at bay! www.munchkin.com

For cleaning the nursery, Eco Clean is a non-toxic, child-friendly collection fragranced with fresh smelling essential oils (orange rosemary, spicy lavender and cool mint). Since Eco Clean is made of plant and sugar-based surfactants, no toxic gases or fumes are released upon contact with water. This is a delightful choice for the entire household, as well! All Eco Clean products are available for $4.49 at www.Alice.com and Duane Reade, and a little truly goes a long way!

Complete the Nursery with a Baby Carrier

To soothe and calm fussy little ones when the rocking chair just won’t do – a natural cotton carrier that will last from birth through 35 lbs. is a wonderful addition to any green nursery! The Baby K’tan® Baby Carrier is a 100% natural cotton, ergonomically designed & stylish soft hybrid baby carrier. Baby K’tan is a cross between a sling and a structured front baby carrier, offering the positions and benefits of both! The stylish and soft nature of the Baby K’tan® Baby Carrier will last as your baby grows – perfect for any budget-conscious parents. With the Baby K’tan infant carrier, your baby can be carried upright (facing in or out), and as they get older, they can be carried on your hip. www.babyktan.com

Your child’s nursery does not have to be expensive, with these simple tips. Scour consignment stores & online discount stores such as Overstock.com for the larger items, or repurpose pieces of furniture that you already own. Have fun, be playful, and don’t be afraid to use color! Remember, your child will all too soon be asking for his or her own style to shine through!

*Images provided by companies mentioned above.*