Seven years ago, I launched babystuf.nl and a catalog to help all the new-parents by rating the best products available per category. As the website became more independent, the amount of pages in the catalog increased rapidly. Catalogs are outdated and the baby-branch requested more online possibilities. After a long time of brainstorming and speaking to experts, I have decided we should do it differently. The time has come, the new website BabyStuf 8.0 is online! 365 days a year, babytrendwatching, hundreds of new baby products, trendy brands, reviews. Besides all this, BabyStuf 8.0 offers tips about buying products, instructional videos, inspiration and expert blogs. We also implemented interactive Mama Moodboards on our website, where visitors can create their very own moodboard such as Pinterest and letting them share with friends and family. Another thing that has been bothering me for years, is the fact that consumers can only gain information from magazines, flyers and the producers’ very own websites. But what do you truly need, in order to use your baby products in the right way? I am willing to give you this information, which many people don’t get in their pregnancy stage. Therefore, I introduced the Mama Masterclasses; no information about pregnancy-yoga, giving birth and the post-pregnancy depressions, but just tips and tricks, information and experiences about countless baby products. Some classes have been developed and further improved with the expert-team of BabyStuf.nl. Subscribing for the 9-week term of Mama Masterclasses is completely free. So head on over to our website, http://www.babystuf.nl, and let us know what you think!
There is white snow and I see clear blue skies when I look outside. Yes, this is how winters are supposed to be! Then the snow ploughing, slippery walks and cold hands do not really matter anymore. And we can dress for the cold, right? For small children however, it is a different case. While we are on the move, they are idle in the freezing air, while sitting in a carrier, stroller or buggy. There are known cases of parents who went for a walk with their child in a carrier in the cold and found their babies limbs frozen once they returned. Not a very pleasant thought. So: no long strolls in the freezing air while your baby is idle and make sure your baby is dressed nicely and warm. For example in this beautiful Silver Collection by Red Castle, which has silver coloured ski suits, feet bags with a useful attachable extension, Combizip with shared leg compartments (useful in cars or on bikes!). For moms and dads, there are even matching hand warmers in silver for the stroller.
Sometimes it can be very difficult to keep your baby calm in a packed waiting room or if you’re in line for the bakery. I always had my keys ready or a toy, but you have to find it in your bag and on a moment like that, you often can’t find it. Especially for these moments, Dushi designed the Mama & Kind necklace. The necklace is soft and safe, looks nice with bright colours, big figures, soft fabrics and sounds; enough to entertain your baby if necessary. They have done a lot of research about the safety of the product: there is no danger of loose beads, sharp edges or rough points. Because of the special clasp the necklace will be cut loose if it gets stuck somewhere. The necklace is nice enough to wear as a fashionable accessory with a single coloured dress or top, but my guess is that a small toddler also would love to wear this.
I thought that there were only two types of toy stores in the Netherlands: the one of Blokker (Bart Smit, Intertoys) and the similar Toys2Play, which are well-known for their profuse collection of vulgar plastic toys in similar packages, and besides these stores, a couple of beautiful stores which sell wooden, educative and durable toys and children’s books. But now there is a third player in our country: Imaginarium! The original Spanish chain, which exists for 20 years already, has opened its first establishment in Amstelveen and many will follow. This store wants to differentiate with toys that emphasize education and development and focuses on children from 0 till 9 years old. It mainly sells its own brands. I was in Düsseldorf recently and accidentally I came across an Imaginarium store. Actually you cannot miss it: the windows are so beautiful and inviting for parents and children that you have to stop and take a look…and then the entrances: a big one for the adults and a small one for the children. In the shop there are a lot of original toys for the smallest, like a crawling tunnel, a baby fitness place where the baby can practice its first steps on a mat. But I also found maternity baskets, bed textile and a first set of tableware. I think it is a relief in the world of toys!
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!
According to a group of American students, the baby intercom can be replaced. They thought of an alternative: a pair of smart socks that monitors the baby’s heartbeat and sends the information to the parents’ smartphone. This Owlet Baby Monitor is a wireless baby sock that is attached on the foot of the baby. The monitor measures the breathing and the oxygen level in the blood. When there are irregularities, the parents get a message. With these smart socks, the students want to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In the Netherlands, health and safety organizations have already expressed they do not approve a baby intercom with a little mat that is placed underneath the mattress to monitor the breathing. Therefore I am curious about the reactions that will be aired when this prototype will be produced as a commercial product…
In Cologne I already noticed this bag: This PacaPod has a unique 3-in-1 system (developed by a mom) that helps you to keep organized. And now this PacaPod is nominated for the Baby Innovation Award! The PacaPod looks like a normal, modern bag from the outside, but when you open it up you’ll see what this bag has to offer. On the inside, it is a super organizer with two removable compartments for diapers and bottles. These minis you can use separately very well too. The many compartments and zippers make sure that all your (baby) stuff will be in a fixed place and doesn’t get lost in the back. Well done.
I always find press conferences interesting, as you get to see the latest products, combined with a bite and a drink and I always see some new faces. This afternoon I was in Amsterdam for a meeting of BabyBjorn. BabyBjorn is a wonderful family company that produced the well-known Babysitter in the 60’s and the famous Carrier in the 70’s. The owners Bjorn and his wife Lillemor Jakobson are still very intensively involved with the organization of developing products and design. And I had the pleasure to personally meet them in Sweden, a couple of years ago. Now I always find it extremely hard to meet in the city centre, but parking went smoothly and I easily found the location; it was so original! We were at the Bag Museum Hendrikje at the Herengracht, and a small committee with some other bloggers, in a beautiful room with high ceilings, golden ornaments and beautiful wall paintings. The communication manager Mirja Alvin showed us the newest BabyBjorn products, such as the new useful chair raiser with handle and attachment belts which are easily stored away by the use of a winding system with just one push of a button. The new Classic Original Carrier in the new colours Lightblue and Raspberry. And the famous BabySitter had an upgrade; it cannot only be used as a rocking chair for sleeping, resting and playing but also as a children chair. The seat is covered with a soft comfortable fabric in three colours and when the baby time is over, than you can turn the fabric and you can make your toddler a small children chair!
Ooh, what a beautiful picture is this new Snowwhite collection by Mima. It is a completion to the successful Flair collection that consists of the models Xari, Kobi and the Buggy Bo. The black frames of the strollers are beautifully combined with the white seats and sunscreens in leather look. You certainly don’t mind being spotted on the streets with one of these. Parents can choose matching fabrics in black, stone grey, pink or light blue. The luxurious Flair feet bag and diaper bag too will be available in the new snow-white colour. Obviously, the first reactions on trade fairs were very enthusiastic about this collection!
Also a bit troubled with the moody autumn days? I know I am. I can enjoy the blue sky and paint like autumn appearances, but the rain, wind and grey skies… In my baby time I lived in a new housing estate where they decided to build the roads only after everything else, so I regularly ploughed through the muddy roads and sandstorms with the stroller and my kids. I’ve always felt sorry for all those moms who have to walk or bike through all kinds of weather with their baby or child. But we will have to go through anyways, and with this nice stuff that will keep your baby or toddler nice and warm, you should manage! Bring it on with these beautiful baby ski suits of Tartine et Chocolate (pink and blue) or a white one from C&A, an aviator hat and winter accessories of Lodger, feet bag for your car seat of Wallaboo, feet bag with separated leg parts for the Stokke Xplory, a nice flannel baby pyjamas of Claesens, funny panda heads and gloves of Knitwits for your toddler and fur-lined winter boots of Bobux. And don’t forget this useful hands ‘warmer’ of Lodger, which you can attach to the push part of the stroller! This way we’ll make it through the winter…