Monday, October 29, 2012

Skip*Hop Moby Bath Spout Cover

The Skip*Hop Moby Bath Spout Cover is one of those "Why didn't *I* think of that and become a millionaire?" products. So simple in its concept, but — to my knowledge — still relatively new to the baby-products scene. It's a cute little whale (or duck) that covers up the faucet and helps overactive kids avoid nasty bumps on their heads during bathtime.

In the early days (when BG was always chill) I didn't see why anyone would need one of these, but now that he is pretty hyper during his bath and moving positions constantly or attempting to climb out of the tub half the time, I get it.

And guess what? Just like the traffic sign and the Bon Jovi album (do I date myself?), babies and toddlers are slippery when wet. You might think you've got a good hold of them and then... kerplunk back down into the water they go. Extra padding around stuff like the faucet is a good thing in those situations.

Hello, Mr. Whale!

The bottom line: I suppose if your kid rammed his head into the tub spout with a ton of force, this soft-plastic whale isn't going to do much in the way of preventing a disaster. But in normal circumstances it should help stave off a shiner or a black eye or something worse.

A ton of different brands have jumped on the "spout cover" bandwagon, so there are a lot of options to choose from. But this Skip*Hop one seemed to be the most highly rated, and I pretty much couldn't escape it on any baby-products web site, so that's what we went with. It goes for about $10.50 on Amazon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Boon Flair Pedestal Highchair

Yes, the Boon Flair highchair looks like it's straight out of The Jetsons. Yes, the only colors it comes in are kind of obnoxious. And yes, at $200, it is expensive. But there was not going to be any other highchair for Baba G—I loved this thing the second I laid eyes on it, despite the fact that it doesn't go with our condo's decor AT ALL (though it would fit perfectly in my dream condo... which only exists in my head).

But come on, you have to admit it is cool:

The orange button at the base adjusts the height, and there's a pedal in the back that works as a brake if you have to wheel it around. Otherwise it glides effortlessly with a gentle push, yet still manages to hold tight in one spot on our wood floor at all other times. I haven't used the orange button since we first set the height we wanted, and I've never needed to use the brake.

Chop, chop! Where's my grub?
What drew me to this chair, besides its overall look, is that I didn't want a highchair like they have in restaurants. Why? Because I didn't want to have to wipe down all of those posts, that's why! Yes, laziness and a hatred of cleaning drives many of my decisions.

I also didn't want anything to be able to fall out of the sides of the highchair. With the Boon Flair, whatever BG doesn't throw onto the floor is going to be captured in the seat or on the tray.

There's an orange pad on the seat that can be removed for extra room, and the tray comes with two transparent tray covers that easily snap on and off. When one's in the wash (yes, they're dishwasher safe but also take about 1 second to wipe down) you can use the other. I think I've only had to wipe down the actual try like 2 times in 4 months. Things are getting a bit messier now, however, since BG is trying more finger foods.

On top of wanting an easy-to-clean highchair, I also wanted one that had over-the shoulder harnesses. I knew the reality would be that I'd often have to walk back and forth from the sink or not be right there sitting across from BG every second he was in the chair, and I didn't think a lap belt would be enough. The shoulder harness does the trick -- he has never gotten out of it and it doesn't seem to bother him, either. You can put also enough slack in it so your kid can bend forward a bit to pick up stuff from the tray.

 Speaking of the tray, my only complaints would be that to take off the tray you have to move a lever underneath to the left and then pull it forward to release the tray. This was tricky at first when my wrist issues were worse. But now I don't even think about it.

About 5 1/2 months old and patiently waiting...

Also, the tray is too small for our Skip*Hop plate set. But at this point BG isn't actually using the plate part of that set, so it's OK. I'm actually not sure if ANY try for any highchair would be big enough for that plate.

Nine months old and still pretty patient.

The bottom line: I love the Boon Flair Pedestal highchair (with pneumatic lift). It moves easily on the wood floor when I need it to, stays put when I need it to, is very easy to clean, seems comfortable for Baba G, and looks cool. So if you're willing to splurge ($200), I say go for it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In Search Of: The Best Waterproof/Pool-Friendly Diaper

In preparation for our trip next month, I need to figure out what Baba G can wear if we decide to visit the toddler pool:

I spent a few minutes Googling "waterproof diapers" and "swim diapers" and "diapers for pool" and came up with options ranging from Huggies Little Swimmers to Pampers Splashers to the i play Swim Diaper (same company behind BG's sun hat!).

I was most concerned with finding something that wouldn't disintegrate or get weighed down in the water. I didn't even THINK of the possibility of him going #2 in the pool, which was a topic of discussion and debate in the review section for the Swim Diaper. I guess this situation didn't cross my mind because at this age BG is VERY obvious when he's doing his business, and so I'd just whip him out of the pool should that be the case. But perhaps when kids get older they take care of #2 on the sneak tip?

Either way, I'm all ears for suggestions about what works best for a 10-month-old to wear in the pool (under swim trunks, of course).

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Unsolicited Advice: Preparing for Baby's First International Trip

Thanks again to everyone who offered travel advice in response to this post. We ended up buying Baba G his own seat on the plane, and we're also going to bring along his car seat in the hopes that he'd be more comfortable napping in that rather than with us holding him. I equated my husband or me holding him to him being more likely to get distracted by everything going on around us. Both of our flights just so happen to be during his nap times, so here's hopin'!

After researching our options, I decided to try out THIS crazy thing, rather than buy a small cart with wheels to attach the car seat onto:
Believe it or not, people SWEAR this works. And it was only $15...

Our criteria for this first trip out of the U.S. with him was that we wanted to go somewhere neither my husband nor I had been before, it had to be in the Caribbean because we wanted to minimize travel time while also ending up somewhere warm (and I've visited most islands there, so pickings were slim), and ideally it would be an all-inclusive resort with multiple dining options and a baby-friendly reputation.

I Googled "Baby-friendly Caribbean resorts" and found this New York Times article from two years ago. I'd already been to Jamaica, so that was out. We went to Atlantis in the Bahamas for our babymoon last year, so that was out. (This IS one of the few places I would actually return to when Baba G is older, however, because its water park is just so amazing and I know he'd love it... and I didn't get to go on any of that stuff because I was pregnant!) There wasn't a painless way to get to St. Lucia from Chicago, so that was out. We seriously considered Curacao, but that also seemed more difficult to get to, and the resort the article mentioned seemed more appropriate for kids rather than babies. So that left the two places in the Dominican Republic, a country I'd already been zeroing in on because it met all of our criteria.

We ended up booking a "5 Trident" suite at Club Med Punta Cana because we wanted to be away from the rest of the resort and have as much privacy and service as possible. The resort is only ten minutes from the airport, which minimized the travel time Baba G would have to be in his car seat during the transfer. (The main reason we decided to bring his car seat is because we will need to travel by taxi about forty minutes to and from the airport in Chicago, as well as those ten minutes once we're at our destination, and I'm just too paranoid to not have him in a car seat during those times.)

I was also impressed by the high "family-friendly" TripAdvsior ratings/positive reviews CMPC received, but what ended up sealing the deal for Club Med overall was that this location is one of the few Club Med spots that offers that Baby Club Med program. We actually don't intend to leave Baba G with sitters there during our stay at all, but we were desperate to find a reputable place that provided Pack 'n Plays, tubs, strollers, etc., so that we didn't have to haul ANY of that crap with us. This place supplies all of those things and more, plus they even have baby food (the jarred kind) and special areas in the restaurants for those who are feeding babies in high chairs and whatnot.

SOLD! (You're on your own for formula and diapers, though, which was fine with us.) They also have a really cool Baby Club Med play area, although I think that's technically for the people using the daycare option. We'll see.

Go nuts, BG!
We booked everything through Club Med so they took care of our flights, and since they were running a "7 nights for the price of 4" promotion, and since the time we're going is their low season, it was a great deal overall. If I had to do it over again I would probably explicitly ask the Club Med rep to contact the airline while I waited on hold to see if we could get a discount for Baba G's seat, as I heard many airlines do this for travelers under the age of 2. Instead I'm pretty sure we paid a full, ridiculously high price. I don't want to think about it! (They didn't provide a room vs. flight breakdown so I'm going to choose to remain ignorant.)

The next to-dos were: 1) getting Baba G into the kids' travel clinic for any necessary shots and destination-specific advice, and then 2) getting him a passport ASAP. The travel clinic visit went smoothly, the passport photo shoot... not so much.

We first went to Kinko's when it was nearing Baba G's bedtime. That was a mistake because he was getting cranky. We spent a full 50 minutes trying to get a shot where he was actually looking into the camera. Their camera had a multi-second delay, so this was nearly impossible. But once we finally got an acceptable shot... their printer didn't work, and there was no way to salvage the picture. They couldn't email it to us or anything.

The next day we went to Walgreens and a very friendly woman with big hair and exceedingly long nails was behind the photo counter, and she was a bit TOO friendly in Baba G's mind. She kind of got up in his face telling him how cute he was, and since he's in his "Not So Sure About Strangers" phase, he started bawling.

So then we had to distract him by walking around Walgreens for like 10 minutes. We finally got a picture after I asked the woman to help keep the white background secure while a different, less enthusastic Walgreens employee stood in front of BG to get the shot. My husband is holding BG standing up while the Too Friendly woman positioned the white cardboard thingy right behind Baba.

This is one of the outtakes of the shoot. The joke's on him because he'll have to live with this picture for the next 5 years!

Should this be an ad for Walgreens' photo service or what?

I'll definitely have a "Lessons Learned" debrief post after we're back from the trip at the end of November... wish us luck!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Prince Lionheart Premium Wipes Warmer

Something wintry this way comes
It's a bit nippy out today, so I figured it was a good time to write about the Prince Lionheart Premium Wipes Warmer. This is a product I wasn't originally going to register for—I thought it was a classic example of something our parents and grandparents would laugh at because it seemed so silly. "We used to change babies outside in the middle of a blizzard (after walking uphill barefoot) and use snow for wipes and those kids were fine! He doesn't need his bum to be warm!"

But I DID register for the warmer after one of my friends swore by it. She lives here in Chicago and said her son would wail his head off when she changed him and the wipes were cold, but then after she used the warmer he was happy as a clam.

Baba G was born at the end of January, and even though we had a fairly mild winter, our condo is chilly from mid-October through March no matter what. We can crank up the heat all we want, but the AIR still feels crisp in our bedroom because it lies outside of the main foundation of the building (long story). BG slept in his Pack 'n Play in our room for his first several months, so I set up the wipes warmer on our dresser and hoped it would help.

The problem was that unless I could use the wipes on him within like 2 seconds after taking them out of the container, they lost their warmth. The damp cloth hit the chilly air and all heat was just zapped from it. Even so, we used the warmer for about three months because the wipes were still less cold than they would've been otherwise. At the end of those three months we were supposed to replace the "pillow" that sits at the bottom of the container. This pillow needs to be kept moist in order for the product to work, and by the end of the three months we did in fact notice that it was starting to brown around the edges. The replacements come in 2-packs for about $12.75 on Amazon.

I'm not sure if other people who live in normal houses or warmer condos would have the "wipes immediately losing their heat" problem. I quickly skimmed through the reviews on Amazon and it seems like there are a few other people who felt that the container needed to be extremely close to their changing area in order for the wipes to remain warm long enough. Others were like my friend and swore up and down that their kid couldn't be changed without warm wipes and that this product did the trick.

I liked everything else about the warmer. It was easy enough to use and the soft light on it was fine. I wished it didn't have to be plugged in, because that limited our options of where it could sit. But I'm assuming they were trying to keep its size as compact as possible and a battery compartment would've made it too big.

If you're interested in registering for or buying a warmer, you are likely to have a nervous breakdown when you try to figure out the difference between the two Prince Lionheart models, because I almost did. So I'm gonna help you out! Here's what I found on the company's web site:

The 0231 (Ultimate) is based on our original Wipes Warmer with additional features including a pop-up lid, a flexible moisture barrier to help keep wipes moist and fresh and to hold the next wipe in place for pop-up style wipes. ($19.20 on Amazon)

Model 9002 (Premium, the one I have) has improved and updated styling, a more powerful heating element, and an improved moisture barrier for increased moisture retention. (About $24.20 on Amazon.)

All of our appliance style wipes warmers use the patented Ever-Fresh System® to ensure that whichever wipes you use on your baby, they are warm, moist, and fresh.

The bottom line: For us, the Prince Lionheart Premium Wipes Warmer didn't really work as well as we hoped it would, but that was in part due to the permanently cold state of our condo. Now that Baba G is sleeping through the night, I'm hoping we won't need to use it again this coming winter, as the temperature in our place is pretty bearable during the day, at least. But we shall see. I have it ready just in case.

If you do feel like you could make use of a wipes warmer, the reviews on Amazon indicate that it's worth spending an extra $5 and getting the premium version as it holds the heat in better. And remember you'll need a new moisture pillow every 3 months.

If others have used a wipes warmer, please share your experience! I'm curious if other people relied on theirs as much as my friend did.

He needs to wear this in our condo, it's THAT cold. (Kidding.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Personalized Baby Block

A really cool gift that some of our friends got us was this personalized baby block from Craft-E Family.

Each of its six sides is personalized with:
1) The letter of his first name
2) His birth date, time of birth, weight and height
3) "Proud Parents" and then my and my husband's names
4) The day of the week and the city he was born in
5) His full name
6) Who the gift was from

Truth be told, I'm usually not a fan of anything that is meant to sit on display. But I actually really do like this personalized block because it takes up hardly any space, is unique, isn't "cutesy" and therefore goes with pretty much any style of room, and is safe if it should happen to fall into Baba G's hands...

The bottom line: I think the Personalized Baby Block from Craft-E Family is a great baby gift, and—at only $17 (with free shipping!)—it's an excellent value as well. (They make other baby gifts, too.) And maybe I just have an extra-bad memory or wasn't wired to have these kinds of facts burned into my brain, but I had already forgotten what day BG was born on, so I like having this cute little reminder of all of his "major stats."

As a matter of fact, I recently had a conversation with my sister-in-law about that "Monday's child" poem and she was saying that she and her mom were debating what day she was born. So I guess as the decades pass it's definitely easy to lose track of this stuff, even for someone who normally has a good memory. If they had the personalized block they could've just whipped it out!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fisher-Price Cradle 'N Swing, My Little Snugabunny

High-tech swings (the Fisher-Price Snugabunny is but one of gazillions) fall squarely in the "nice to have" department. They're not essential by any means, but chances are that if you are lucky enough to have one, you're going to put it to work during your baby's first few months.

The "My Little Snugabunny" version is named as such because your kid will get cozy in a padded area that looks like a bunny:

There are restraints, of course, because this thing MOVES. When it's on the highest speeds, it's no joke.

It can go both side-to-side (right picture, below) and back and forth (left picture, below), and there's a twirly mobile that makes chirping sounds (and can be turned off, if you want), as well as several other sound/song options.

Baba G LOVED his swing in the sense that he would immediately chill out once he was in it. As you can see from the videos below, we had it stationed in my husband's music room/office. The oh-so-appropriate poster of Eddie Van Halen with a cigarette hanging off of his guitar is the dead giveaway. (No, the rest of our condo isn't similarly decorated.)

Here's Baba G seeming fairly calm but totally alert. This video was taken when he was about four months old and my husband was traveling for a few nights. I had an awful time trying to get BG down for a nap. He'd been crying for at least a half-hour straight... and then I remembered we had the swing. (It was an "out of sight, out of mind" situation.) Warning: if you're like me you're going to get dizzy watching these clips!

Within five minutes he was sound asleep:

I'm pretty sure they say you're not supposed to put your kid in the swing for a nap. Just like they say you shouldn't put your kid in anything but his crib for a nap. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and the swing was a surefire way to get him to doze off if he was tired but fighting it. We were always in the room with him and he was always strapped in, so in my book I don't see the difference between him being awake or asleep in it, as far as safety is concerned.

The bottom line: The Fisher-Price swings take up a lot of room, there's no denying that. So they might not be practical for those who don't have much living space... or for those who don't have a ton of storage space.

What's more, you will have to bid the swing adieu after your baby hits 25 pounds or starts wanting to sit up on his own and resists being in a reclined position (the latter happened first for us), so chances are this is a "five months or less" type of product. Having said all of that, I'm glad we had one because we made nightly use out of it and sometimes Baba G would just chill in it for quite a while and my husband would play acoustic guitar and sing to him.

It costs around $127 on Amazon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Zutano Infant Unisex-Baby Fleece Hat

My husband, Baba G and I had a crazy adventure yesterday, which I look forward to sharing with you soon. But since I've been traveling for the past few days and have a lot of work to catch up on, that longer post is going to have to wait. Instead, here's a quick review of a great baby hat for those of us in areas that don't enjoy year-round warmth. (On a related note: what's wrong with us? Why don't we MOVE to areas that enjoy year-round warmth?)

I received the Zutano fleece hat for Baba G as a baby-shower gift about a year ago, and we just recently started using it. It is perfect for fall temperatures, and will likely work well into the winter, too.

I love it so much that I'll probably end up buying another one in a different color—there are a dozen different options.

Serious Face.
Starting a new trend: sideways-hat-wearing while sleeping.

Baba G has definitely grown wise to hats, hoods, and any other article of clothing that he doesn't like. As in, he will attempt to get the offending piece off of him as quickly as possible. But he doesn't seem to mind the Zutano hat. Probably because it's so soft and snug—it's not like it's rotating around ever-so-slightly on his forehead and bugging him. It stays put.

The bottom line: If you need a hat for your baby or toddler now that temperatures are starting to drop, look no further. The Zutano fleece hat rocks, and it comes in multiple colors and sizes—from 3 months up to 24 months. The glowing Amazon reviews back me up!

It costs between $9 and $20, depending on the size.

On a related note, Zutano seems to be a pretty cool company overall. Here's their site.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Evenflo ExerSaucer Triple Fun - Jungle

I've put off writing about the Evenflo ExerSaucer for a long time because I didn't know how I should approach the fact that we were told by Desmond's physical therapists that it would probably be a good idea if we stopped using it.

The last thing I'd ever want to do on this site is come off as preachy or like I'm trying to tell others what their kids should or shouldn't have or play with or do. So please know I'm writing this post in the spirit of "Here's what happened to us," and that's it.

So... how to make a long story as short as possible? There's probably no way to. Settle in!

We started taking Baba G to physical therapy when he was around 6 months old because he was tilting his head to one side the majority of the time. (If you know all the medical terms, it was a very mild case of tortocollis—which spell-check desperately wants me to change to "tortellinis.")

Tortocollis is fairly common in infants, and in the week that passed between his pediatrician seeing him and his first PT appointment, the issue was almost gone thanks to some stretches and exercises.
We still kept the PT appointment, during which they did a total-body assessment.

They watched him playing and rolling around and whatnot. When they helped him stand, they noticed how he kept trying to rise up on his tip-toes and lean forward. They'd rather see him standing flat-footed with his weight shifted more toward his bottom (so if he fell he'd fall into a sitting position). The culprit was his ExerSaucer, which pretty much trained him to lean forward and stand on his tippy-toes, as seen in this video below if you look closely at his feet:

It's not the best thing for a baby who's eventually going to need to learn to walk normally. I guess if he were trying to compete with the Monty Python "Silly Walk," that would've been another story

I felt like an ass, because when *I* was in physical therapy for my post-pregnancy-related wrist issues, my therapist told me about how bad jumpy seats were for a baby's alignment, and I was all, "Yeah, Baby Bargains wouldn't even review jumpers for that reason" and generally acted like I was an informed parent. Then we started taking about ExerSaucers, which were developed after jumpers and walkers were determined to be some of the most dangerous baby products on the market. But my therapist wasn't a fan of ExerSaucers, either.

I told her we had one and that Baba G LOVED it. He loved to holler at the alligator puzzle and the light-up iguana, he loved to bite the butterfly, and he even found a way to catch some zzz's in it one afternoon:


Butterflies are good for the gums, I swear.

Just dozing in the jungle.

"I'd still restrict the ExerSaucer to about 15 minutes," was my physical therapist's reply.

I did only keep Baba G in it for 15 minutes at a time... but I probably put him in there 3 or 4 times a day. (Remember... he loved it! I just wanted to see him happy!)

Slap on the wrist time for me. I confessed everything to his physical therapists (who were TOTALLY nice about all of this and not at all judgmental, truly), and they basically said to think about it this way: a baby's muscles are a blank slate. If they spend a total of 45 minutes to an hour working a set of those muscles in a certain way — even if that total time was broken up into short bursts — it was going to have an impact. I could see their point.

From that day forward, Baba G was banned from the ExerSaucer. HOWEVER, the great thing about the ExerSaucer is that it can be used in lots of other ways besides just being a bouncy seat. It comes with a removable arch that was excellent for tummy and back time in the early months:

BG and his brother Shaddy just chillin'

And now that BG pulls himself up on anything and everything, he can enjoy the ExerSaucer from the outside. In fact, his physical therapists actually encouraged its use in this way.

Hello, birdie friends! I missed you.

Baba G is thrilled to be reunited with his old gang. Though he still is frustrated that he can't get those darn monkeys off of their arch.

And would you believe that I learned something AGAIN thanks to research for this blog? When I was grabbing images for the ExerSaucer's Amazon page, I realized it could be totally reconfigured like so:

This has absolutely made my day, as this is EXACTLY the kind of "table-toy" his physical therapists love. It encourages side-to-side stepping, which is a precursor to walking.

The bottom line: Look, will we ever know if Baba G would've been a whacked-out walker had we continued to let him play in the ExerSaucer's bouncy seat? No. And do millions of other babies play in these kinds of seats—and much worse—and turn out just fine? Yes. (This same ExerSaucer is actually featured on the sitcom Up All Night, by the way.) But I couldn't let Baba G continue to hop around in the ExerSaucer after I saw his tippy-toe preference with my own eyes.

HOWEVER, I still love the Evenflo ExerSaucer and am totally excited to reconfigure it in the S-formation and see BG go to town zooming all around it. I'll report back on how he likes it!

The Evenflo ExerSaucer Triple Fun - Jungle (yet another great (cough) product name) costs about $100 on Amazon.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Baby Gund Mini Tinkle Crinkle (Worm/Caterpillar)

We have this one
I learned something today. One of Baba G's most beloved toys, which I've been calling "Baby Worm" for 8 months (in honor of his favorite book character), is actually 1) a caterpillar, and 2) officially called the "mini tinkle crinkle."

Is that name for real? What in the hell is a "tinkle crinkle"? Who comes up with this stuff? Are they regularly tested for drug use?

Though the Baby Gund Mini Tinkle Crinkle might be battling My Brest Friend for the honor of "Worst-Named Product," Baba G doesn't care. He loves this toy, which I'm still going to refer to as Baby Worm, dammit.

But it comes in primary colors as well
We got Baby Worm as a gift from friends when BG was born, and it was one of the only toys I felt comfortable putting near him in the early days because it is SO SO SO soft. Seriously, it's the softest.

It makes a very faint rattling noise if you shake it, and it's only 8 inches long so it's the perfect size for a newborn to grasp.

Apparently there's a 17-inch version that's named the "Tinkle, Crinkle, Rattle and Squeak," and it's one of Gund's best-sellers. If the mini worm is any indication, I can see why the bigger one is such a hit.

Here's Baba G when he was less than 2 weeks old, already holding Baby Worm and trying to eat it:

You, Baby Worm, are destined to become the most-slobbered-on of my toys
The bottom line: The Baby Gund Mini Tinkle Crinkle (grr) makes for a GREAT, inexpensive gift that I guarantee any newborn is going to love. The mini version goes for between $2.50 - $3.25 (I told you it was inexpensive!) on Amazon, and the full-sized version is around $16.

Baba G still loves Baby Worm just as much as he did when they were first introduced. Even though he has a ton of fancy teethers and other toys now, Baby Worm is the old standby we take with us in the car and to restaurants because he can't get enough of it. Plus, it's one of those toys that doesn't make noise when it's dropped OR when it's played with, and it's easily washable. Perfect! I guess I'll forgive its stupid official name.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

OXO Tot Feeding Spoon Set

Before I get into the real subject of this post, I just wanted to thank everyone who left travel-advice comments last week, both here and on Facebook. The exciting news is that Baba G's passport application is IN, and I just booked our trip a few hours ago. I'll keep you in suspense as to where we're going, as that is definitely a topic worthy of multiple posts. But I will say this: planning a vacation when a baby's going to be in tow is STRESSFUL.

You know what else is stressful? Trying to feed a kid who bites down on his spoon and WILL NOT LET GO.

I had been feeding Des with a short baby spoon made by Skip*Hop (I'll write up that set some other time when we actually use all of its pieces). But since we only had that one spoon and we actually thought we lost it for a short period of time, I realized I should have some back-ups. I spent about 5 seconds researching baby spoons on Amazon and selected the OXO Tot Feeding Spoon Set because it was highly rated, I've liked other OXO products I've bought for myself/our kitchen, and, really, isn't a spoon just a spoon?

I thought so... but now I'm not so sure. The OXO spoon is significantly easier for me to hold while feeding BG because it's longer and is angled just perfectly. But its soft material (the Skip*Hop spoon was hard plastic) seems to be enticing the heavily teething BG to clamp down on it rather than eat.

It was hard to get a picture of this while I was feeding him, but you might be able to tell from his expression (and his forming fists) that this poor spoon is taking a beating.

Spoon Tug o' War

I'm not kidding when I say that I can't get this spoon out of his mouth. It's to the point where I'm afraid I'm going to pull so hard that I'll crack one of his teeth, so instead I wait for him to ease up or I try to distract him (his water cup usually works) until he lets go. I am shocked by the strength of his four teeny top teeth, his two bottom teeth... and his overall willpower and general stubbornness. (Let's try to not think about what that last part means for his teenage years.)  I'm also confused as to why he wants to just bite down on the spoon rather than eat, since he's always seemed to like every flavor of baby food we've given him.

So is the problem the spoon, his teething, or his 'tude? It's hard to say. I've found that if I barely let the spoon rest in his mouth I can get it back out before he clamps down. This leads to food splattering all over the place every once in a while as I whip a fully loaded spoon out of his mouth, but at this point there's really no way around a huge mess at feeding time, anyway.

"There is no spoon." - The Matrix
The bottom line: I like the OXO spoon a lot because of its length and angled end. So I'm going to chalk BG's biting up to the fact that he's teething like mad and pretty much tries to bite everything that's even remotely near his mouth. The OXO spoons come in a set of 2 for $7 on Amazon and are available in multiple colors.