I was pleasantly surprised when I found furniture of Beaneasy on the Kind und Jugend-trade fair in Cologne a couple of years ago. Finally something completely new in the furniture industry! The designer wondered why all furniture was so rectangular and angular, and he got inspired by furniture with round edges, resembling an unborn baby in the womb.
This year I got surprised again. Among the enormous baby and children furniture collection in the set white high gloss oak, with some rare natural wood or whitewash room, I found the designs of the young designers team of GloriaLavi. Since their start last year, they want to convince the market and so the parents that nice furniture designs is possible from birth on. From their drawing table their first designs arose: a rocking crib (Lavi Dreamer), a crib on wheels (Lavi Cruiser) and a crib that you can attach to the big bed (Lavi Buddy). Keywords of their design: aesthetic, functional, modern, timeless and environmental friendly. No mass production, but rather small editions. Made by German craftsmen and of an excellent quality.
Is a baby intercom necessary? On www.sciencepalooza.nl when you click on the header ‘Big momma is watching you’, pedagogue Peter Hoffenaar introduces a study that was done in the United States, in which parents were projected as a group of women who rather trust a flashing light than their own nurture instincts. I couldn’t resist making a comment on this:
‘Smartphones, second screens, one-year-olds playing with an iPad and watching YouTube-clips. You cannot imagine a modern family without the new media. In times like these, a baby intercom should just be seen as a significant tool to ease your mind. Nothing more and nothing less, and there shouldn’t be too big of a fuss about it. For babies needing some extra care, a baby intercom with a movement monitor can be a great invention. The ‘thank you’ notes of parents sent to suppliers are proof of this. Regularly we get the question of a supplier why everyone is making a fuss about it in the Netherlands. As if these types of baby intercoms would make parents lazy or overprotective. A baby intercom will never replace the nurturing eye of the parent. That parents are caring and insecure has always been the case. In the past, mothers, grandmothers and aunts were the one to turn to with questions. Now parents search for answers on the Internet. It is also a matter of good verbal instructions, as well as online. But please let parents decide for themselves what is good and what is not for their own children. They are mature enough for that.’
So now you know how I feel about this subject. I only used the baby intercom now and then myself, most of the time when I was visiting the neighbours for a minute. There was always noise on and sometimes I even heard sounds from another house and yes, I trusted my own gut feeling. But back then, all baby intercoms worked the same way and current technologies didn’t exist yet… That is why I like to see this innovation: The BabyPing! A wireless baby intercom where you can hear and see the baby, using today’s already existing technology: the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. This new Wi-Fi baby intercom is easy to install and to use. There is no need for a computer, everything can be done directly from the iOS device and the free app. Via a full screen you can watch the baby (even at night) and something else very useful: you can make pictures with it and safe them!
Recently I received this press release: It is better for toddlers under the age of two, to not watch TV. (Source: Gazet van Antwerpen) On request of the Belgium minister of health and wellbeing, scientists and experts concluded this from a study. Of course we already knew, but now it is scientifically funded. The tips are supplied to caretakers, schools and families, but also to the international news. Fathers and mothers do good by keeping their kids and toddlers away from the TV, iPad or computer and to let them play, jump and experience adventures, preferably in fresh air! This is not a problem in summer, but this brings a lot of mud and grumpiness during the rainy seasons, let alone all the dirty clothes that need to be washed. The new sand suit of Hopsan is a revelation (I received this by chance on the same day). It is made of 100% strong cotton, it breathes, is moisture repellent as well as moisturizing, and offers protection against sand, wind and rain. A nice detail: there are useful loops attached to the suit where you can attach your scoop and rake on. Once at home with your little sandman or woman: strip the suit, bump out and hang it out till the next time!
Currently one is working hard on the new Isize norm for car seats. This new norm (will be implemented in the fall of 2013) will make sure that, children younger than 15 months will be traveling even safer than before. Key words of this new norm are: longer backwards transport and the length of the child is decisive (instead of the weight of the child, as is the case now). Research shows that children are 80% better protected traveling backwards in the case of a frontal crash! The car seat Sirona from Cybex, suitable for new-borns till children the age of four years old, is a great example of traveling backwards longer. It is for a reason this car seat is the winner of the international Baby Innovation Award in the category Traveling Baby. But there is more. Installation is fast and easy with the one-click ISOFIX fastening. In the case of a side crash, the power of the crash is better absorbed thanks to a special system. Also it is not necessary anymore to overstretch your back when you lift your child in and out the car countless times. You can just turn the seat towards the door and back again with the 360 degrees turning system. This is also very useful when your child wants to get in and out the car by itself! This system is also great when you want to switch from backwards transporting (baby period) to forward transporting (toddler period). And whenever your child is falling asleep you can change the seat in one of the five laying positions with just one simple movement. Good to know: with its ten different positions, the headrest can grow along with your child.
Yesterday night I got a tip: At Tros Radar, the subject Bisfenol A was discussed. It is a toxic, hormone disruptive chemical that occurs in small amounts in polycarbonate bottles and until the ban of last year, also in baby bottles. Fortunately it has been decided that this chemical cannot be processed in baby bottles anymore (Especially in the suckling period children got the most Bisfenol A inside their bodies, 10 to 20 times as much as a baby who was breast fed!). Only BPA-free bottles are allowed. In the program a scientist explains that we, consumers, all have Bisfenol A in our bodies. This is because of packaging our food (plastic bottles, coatings in a can) but also via our skin (thermic receipts and some cosmetics). Another interviewed expert points out that pregnant women can pass on this chemical for four generations. This is shocking to hear! The effect on children and humans has not been researched scientifically but from former tests on animals, it shows that this chemical has a negative effect on the growth of the placenta. That is why Bisfenol A has been linked to different forms of cancer. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is currently conducting research and setting up new guidelines. Denmark and France won’t wait any longer and take action themselves. Also Belgium has extended the ban on baby bottles to wrapped baby- and child food till three years. And what does the Netherlands do? The Netherlands is waiting for the new European actions and currently prefers the easy way.
Is it me or are there so many birds around us at the moment? On wallpaper, ableware, fabrics, wishcards, jewellery, as a tattoo and lets not forget out little tweet bird! Birds are hot. Lately, even a smoke detector in the shape of a bird, the Chick-a-Dee by Luvion, has been introduced to the market of baby products. It was developed by designer Louise van der Veld of the Rietveld Academy and winner of the design competition ‘Mooi uit de Brand’, therefore completely Dutch Design. The Chick-a-Dee has got her name thanks to the American bird that has been used in mines since 1900 to warn the mineworkers of danger, and then especially carbon monoxide. Mineworkers took this bird in a little cage and when there was a threat of danger, the bird would chirp a special chirp. Bye bye boring, grey smoke detector and hello Chick-a-Dee! A cage is not necessary.
Overhalf a million people watched the first episode of the Dutch reality show Barbie’s Baby, probably because everyone was a little curious of how the Oh Oh Cherso-star Samantha is doing. I watched as well, but to see all episodes won’t be an option for me. From the moment that Samantha knew she would get a girl as a baby, she went all pink. A pink baby room, pink clothing and a pink stroller! And of course this particular phenomenon was often in the picture. So for everyone who wants to know what the brand of this stroller is: it is a Neonato pink Synchro Romance Limited Edition. With thanks to the NeoNato distributor, who has started operating in the Netherlands shortly, from whom I received this information. NeoNato is an Italian label that focuses on parents who choose luxury and fashion. The limited editions Romance and Diamond stand out because of their ‘over the top’ luxurious materials, applications in the form of roses and real crystals. Therefore suitable for all future mothers who want to choose a typical girly stroller, a bit of luxury and glamour: consider this Italian label!
Every year I am asked by the BCMI (Baby Care Magazines International, the European organisation for our trade magazine) to evaluate products as a jury member at the Kind + Jugend exhibition. I do this with great joy, because you get to see as one of the first, which primes will take over the world. For this year, it meant evaluating over 200 products(!) online, reading descriptions and rating them for the long list. Also last week, I visited Cologne for one day for the determination of the nominations. Among the many submissions I found some very special, but sometimes also bizarre products. Like a special herbal drink that is supposed to stimulate breastfeeding (I’d say go to a reform shop), a pacifier with a picture that changes colour when the baby breathes, a transparent bit that you can put in your wife’s mouth when she is in labour and the pain gets unbearable (a woman in labour cannot stand anything in her mouth, and what is wrong with her partner’s hand?). But rock-bottom was hit when I saw a product that was a device to hold your baby up (baby upholder) on the arms so you can change your baby. Maybe innovative, but this inventor apparently has never heard about babies’ fragile vertebrae and safety in general. Completely wrong, but I sure had a some good laughs…