To me Christmas is a very special period, not only because they are family days, but also because my oldest son was born on Christmas Eve (really!). Our Christmas baby got was born two weeks too early and because we were in the middle of a house move we preferred to have him at the hospital. But the delivery went so smooth that I could just have had him at home. I remember the entire delivery in detail but also the Christmas atmosphere and the Christmas Carols of the hospital choir. Today is our last day at work and then we will recover from all the hectics here at the editorial department! And while we are listening to Christmas songs, we have gathered a nice collection of baby products. From left to right and bottom down these are: Greentom Upp stroller, Bellemont plate, Stokke Crusi stroller, Maxi-Cosi Rubi carseat, Nuna Pipa carseat, stuffed animal of Spiegelburg, Pacopod caringbag, Buddy Gelpack star in case of accidents, white music box Star Cottonbaby, BabyBjorn rocking chair Balance Soft, storing basket Cottonbaby, Bumbo chair. Now I am going to enjoy a few days of peace and the celebration of our own Christmas child! I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and see you next year!
When you’re in the car as a pregnant woman, it is always a fuzz. The seatbelt never feels comfortable and the sharp edges can be extremely irritating. But even worse, you and your unborn baby are not safe! This wrong position can lead to ‘sub-marining’; this is the effect that you slide underneath the waist belt in case of a crash situation, read: collision. I have seen shots of a crash test and you’d be shocked. It is clear that this phenomenon can seriously injure you and your child. That is why the jury of the Baby Innovation Award and I were very happy with the BeSafe Pregnant iZi FIX and why this great product was nominated. This useful tool makes sure that the seatbelt always fits right! You place the mat on the chair and attach this with a belt to the back part of the seat. You can attach the BeSafe with Isofix on the back seats. Then you sit down, guide the belt through the little strap on the front side under the belly and attach the belt and voilà, mom is safely seated. Because of this simple installation you can easily take the BeSafe Pregnant iZi FIX with you in another car. Extremely useful and extremely safe.
Doing groceries with a stroller or buggy isn’t always easy. With the smaller formed stroller, the baskets also have become smaller; a lot smaller then 20 years ago. It’s like they’ve become designers’ bags, which looks great on a stylish stroller, but cannot even hold a pack of milk, let alone a pack of diapers. So what happens next is that people hang bags on the strollers like they do with buggies, and this doesn’t help to keep balance and greatly increases the risk of the stroller falling over. We are waiting for the moment that designers of strollers really put some work in the ultimate shopping buddy. Until then, these two products will certainly help moms doing groceries: the Elephant & Apple Stroller Frame Bag and the Joolz XL shopping bag. The Stroller Frame Bag fits on both sides of strollers and buggies and is suitable for long and odd shaped objects such as umbrellas, French baguettes, flowers but also objects like a beach shovel, muddy children boots or snowy gloves. It is possible to roll up the Joolz XL grocery bag, it offers a great amount of space and has a big opening so you can always easily reach your stuff. The bag is not in the way while walking and once home you can release it by clicking, so you can bring it inside and unpack your groceries. For now, it only fits on the Joolz Day, so now we are waiting for a model that is compatible with every stroller.
If you like a crib in a retro style, you can always renovate an old one from your family. But you have to be careful about the right distance between the bars, space between the mattress and crib, non-toxic paint and splinter-proof wood. Or you just choose for a vintage crib with today’s safety measures. The Oude Speelkamer designs children’s rooms accessories, toys and desks and on the Flavourites Live in Amsterdam, they presented this crib. This piece of nostalgia is handmade, from Dutch origin, meets all the safety requirements and can be converted into a toddler bed. Among all the different children room furniture, this piece is a pleasure to look at.
I just read this on scientias.nl: Conception in the future: There’s room for virgin moms! In her book, author and biologist Aarathi Prasad discusses conception in the past years. From the first period of humanity, when women were no more than a breeding machine, till the first IVF baby and attempts to produce a baby from stem-, sperm- and egg cells. But Prasad goes even further. Infertility becomes a bigger and bigger problem. Couples take more time before deciding to have children and there are symptoms of a disintegration of the Y-chromosome with men. This only counts 45 genes instead of the 1400 that it used to be, which are no good findings for mankind to discover. But there is news: Prasad states that if there are already animals who can reproduce without male cells, then why can’t we? She names certain shark, insect and plant species for examples of virgin conception. I was aware of these. However, completely new for me is the science that human egg cells too can reproduce without male sperm. There are examples of found cell masses with women who haven’t had sex. This has never produced a healthy baby, but apparently a woman’s body can encourage an egg cell to develop. And in 2004, the first mouse was born without a biological father. Prasad is convinced that in the future it will be possible to produce a baby by means of genetic manipulation. The possibilities are unprecedented. A backside of this is that it can only lead to the birth of girls unless it will be possible to produce a Y-chromosome in the future too.
It all sounds promising and I definitely see the advantages for women, but it does give me shivers. I immediately think of the scientist Michel Audan, who states that physical contact is so important in every phase of our reproduction, from conception to breast-feeding. Where the substance, oxytocin is produced and makes sure that you can open up to others at a whole different, deeper level. According to him, a lack of oxytocin leads to stress with the baby and disorders like ADHD and autism. In short, where is the love?
I remember when the first balance bikes were introduced, such a good idea! Because the step from a three wheel bike to a bike with side wheels is an enormous change for your toddler. On a balance bike, your child learns how to keep balance. A few years ago, the Wishbonebike balance bike was introduced, with its light wooden frame based on the design of a wishing bone. The special thing about this design is that it is three bikes combined in one: with two back wheels and a reversible frame with a back wheel in a low or high settting. And now this new balance bike has been introduced to the market: the Spherovelo from Early Rider is a new ‘bike’ with a futuristic design for children between the age of one and one-and-a-half. This model is actually meant as the precursor of the walking bike. The design consists of two big balls; the rear ball runs on bearings and can turn in any direction. The Spherovelo therefore offers enough possibilities for biking tricks. For the starting phase, two extra wheels are attached to keep it stable and steady. If the child can keep its balance, then you can just take off the extra wheels. A beautiful product, with a beautiful design and I am curious about the first biking experiences!
An environmental-friendly stroller? Yes, it’s possible! Industrial designer Bart Bost is renowned for his pioneering designs for babies and children and now has a prime in The Netherlands: The Greentom Upp stroller. This stroller is entirely made of recycled synthetic materials; polypropylene for the frame and recycled PET bottles for the fitting. This Greentom stroller, designed according to the cradle-to-cradle principle, is one without troubles: it’s simple, smart and very user-friendly. This stroller is certainly environmental-friendly; by using the recycled materials, the Greentom can be produced and assembled locally and this means: no production far away and abroad, no transport costs and less pollution! The good thing about this stroller is that it doesn’t look ‘green’. It is suitable from birth with a traveling cradle or car seat, has good springs, a stepless adjustable backrest, is easily manoeuvrable because of the double ball bearings in the wheels and with its 7 kilograms, it is lightweight after all. It is expected for 2013, so please have a little patience… It has already been nominated for the Baby Innovation Award!