Halo Bassinest Review

This sucker is the hottest ticket going these days – I’m seeing it everywhere – so I thought I’d better have a boo at it myself.

The Halo Swivel Sleeper Bassinest is a bassinet that can sit up right next to your bed and swivel over your bed for easy access to your baby. It also has a drop down side, a light, music, good vibrations (mmmm) and a nursing timer.

Have a peek at my lovely video to find out more:

Things I Loved:

  • Can swivel over the bed
  • Your baby is right at eye level
  • Mesh sides for great air circulation
  • Nice neutral colour and design
  • Drop down side
  • Maneuvers out of the way easily
  • Very sturdy and stable
  • Reasonably easy to put together

 

Things to Consider:

  •  It’s a little pricey
  • You still have to lift the baby over the drop side so it’s not a seamless transition
  • It’s heavy (a good thing for stability) so you’re not going to be moving it a lot

 

You can find them here on rightstart.com for about $230 and on Amazon.


Also check out:

Graco Pack N Play Playard with Bassinet: About $160 cheaper. Doesn’t have the swivel function or the do-dads, but extends its use by converting to a playyard when your child is older.

Arm’s Reach Concepts Mini Arc Co-sleeper: Similar to the Pack N Play but this one can butt up right against your bed.

Summer Infant By Your Side Portable Bedding: This one is $60 bucks so there’s a big price difference. It sits on your bed instead of beside it so if you are sleeping in a double or even a queen, dad/mom/partner may get the boot. 

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Seventh Generation Diaper Review

I’ve always been a big fan of Seventh Generation. I really do feel like they go the extra mile to make environmentally responsible products and the world a better place.

I used their wipes and their diapers (when I could find them) when the boys were little. Not only did I feel like I was doing something better for the environment (code: alleviate my cloth diapering guilt) I knew I was using better stuff on my kids since regular diapers are bleached, proceed and full of that beading witchcraft that could absorb a Mr. Turtle pool full of liquid.

So when the folks at Seventh Generation asked me if I’d like to try out their diapers, I was all gung ho but I didn’t think it would be fair of me to do a review based on my experience four years ago. Then I remembered that Claire had a little man still rocking the diapers so I asked her to take them for a spin to see what she thought.

Here’s her honest take:


I need to start this post by explaining that I am currently diapering my third baby and he is 13 months old. My other two kids were potty trained just before they turned 3 years-old, so you have to believe me when I say: I know about diapers. I have spent the better part of the last 6.5 years buying, unpacking, unfolding, fastening, and unfastening diapers. By now I’m a damn expert.

And like all parts of parenthood, my opinion about diapers has greatly evolved. With my first baby I would march up and down the diaper aisle and think, “Is this brand of diapers soft enough? Is it *nice* enough for MY precious little bucket of love? I will not tolerate chafing, goddamnit!” With my second kid, who had sensitive skin, I was like, “This diaper brand is on sale and it won’t give my baby a rash? Perfect!” With my third kid I’m all, “Does this generic diaper brand hold warm shit? SOLD.”

You know what else has evolved in the last 6.5 years? My awareness of how this earth is going to hell in a handbasket. Global warming scares me. Oil prices terrify me. And I find myself thinking regularly about how I can adjust things in my household so we can be a little more “green”. I became militant about recycling in our house. I turned the thermostat down last winter and we gave up our AC this summer. I started using washcloths to wipe my baby down after meals, instead of paper towels. My friend Tricia, who has three kids, gave up paper towels altogether after her third kid was potty trained, explaining to me that she felt like she needed to counteract the amount of waste she produced during those diapering years. This makes sense to me. I tried cloth diapering but I sucked at it. But that doesn’t mean I have to give up completely on making my diapering process less wasteful and bad for Mama Earth.

So I decided to give Seventh Generation diapers a try. I read online that they don’t use any petroleum lotions in the diaper and that they don’t use chlorine processing—in fact, they are the only diaper brand that doesn’t do any whitening at all. Why the hell do we need diapers to be white anyway? So they look pristine before our babies defile them?? Seventh Generation uses a natural, non-toxic pigment to color the diaper a pleasant tan color. My husband is in the hazardous waste remediation business, so I can tell you that no extra chlorine or petroleum in the world (or on my baby’s butt) is a good thing.

And I have to tell you—I was pleasantly surprised by these diapers. They are softer than I expected and he has had zero leaks. They are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, which I like because I find the scent of some diapers nauseating. I tried out the wipes, too, and they worked like a charm!

The downside of this brand is the price--they do cost more than the generic ones I have been using on this kid. And it toasts my oats that being environmentally responsible is more expensive. So my goal is to use the generics and buy these nicer dipes on sale whenever I can.

I’m never going to be the mom who composts every damn thing and starts driving a car that runs on french fry grease. But I can be the mom who makes a few small changes that will hopefully have a slightly larger impact on the health of this planet…one shit diaper at a time.


Win a Seventh Generation Prize Pack & $100 Target Gift Certificate!

When I was chatting with Seventh Generation I said "Hey, how about doing a little giveaway too?" and they said, "Sure!" because they are awesome like that.

So here's your chance to win a $100 Seventh Generation Prize Pack and a $100 Target Gift card for a $200 prize (MATH!).

(Open to U.S. & Canada)


Claire Goss is a stay-at-home mother of three (ages 6, 4, and 1) who lives in suburban Boston. She has MA degree in child development, which doesn't come in handy at all when your child has just ripped open 10 packets of infant oatmeal and dumped them on the floor. She is also known as Guru Louise at Rants from Mommyland and was also a regular contributor at Babble.com. She has been reading Pregnant Chicken for years and loves writing for the Burd because she gets to use all those curse words she is forced to edit out of daily preschool vocabulary.


Even though I was compensated for my time, I would never tell you about stuff I think is crappy. All of our reviews are completely honest and our own opinion.
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8 Signs You've "Arrived" as a Mom

I was so impressed with an article I’d read by A Mothership Down, Bringing Home Baby, that I asked her for a post to run here.

I had to chuckle at #8 of these Signs You’ve Arrived as a Mom because I remember it being like a Superbowl Half Time Show to bathe my son in those first few weeks. I remember it soooo well ::shudder::


Nobody panic

Nobody panic

As a new mother, it's impossible not to watch more experienced moms (read: any mom with a baby at least 6 weeks older than your baby) and feel a tinge of envy. How is she doing that {insert whatever random and not very impressive task she is doing} with such ease!?? Why do I look like such a rank amateur when all these other moms have it so together?

This is the question plaguing us all. Some of us are also plagued by mastitis and the question of what in the world is thrush, but that's not the point. The point is: some day you will be the experienced mom of a baby who is at least 6 weeks older than someone else's baby, and people will be looking up to you as the "experienced parent." How, then, can you tell when you have "arrived," so to speak, as a hip new mom who has her act together? Let's take a look.

 

1. You successfully navigate Trader Joe's while wearing your baby in an Ergo, Beco, or other such hip and fancy baby carrier.

You are NOT toting your little one around in his carseat, canned soups perched precariously on top of his head.  You are NOT asking passers-by how to fit said car seat into the carriage. Why? Because YOU are an experienced and cool mom who has her act together, that's why! You float through the grocery store, a veritable moving portrait of with-it-ness. You make confident eye contact with the other with-it moms who are also wearing their babies. Yes, your eyes say, we both TOTALLY know what we're doing here. Your eyes also say "I'd love to meet you for a playdate at which our babies, who are too young to socialize, eat their own toes while we talk about the trials of breastfeeding."

My hair and face do not say "I've arrived." You know it and I know it. But baby Nolan, he looks pretty hip.

My hair and face do not say "I've arrived." You know it and I know it. But baby Nolan, he looks pretty hip.

You may also achieve hip new mom status by shopping at Whole Foods with your baby, even if the baby IS in her carseat. That's because you got extra points for being at Whole Foods. You may never achieve this status at Walmart, because at Walmart you will just look like a jackass using your Ergo. That being said, Walmart has really great deals, so probably you and I should just go there.

 

2. You know where the most important sh*t in your diaper bag is.

Like, the diapers and the wipes. Also, those items are actually in your bag when you need them, versus, say, your lipgloss and a People magazine being handy. Not having the key items when your 3 month old is peeing all over his own face in the changing room at Buy Buy Baby just makes you look clueless. Not that I would know. Except that I would totally know because, you guys, that was my son Nolan and me. You have arrived if you are the mom who knows that if you thought you'd need 2 changes of clothes you'll actually need 11. The old you would be 9 outfits short. Not the new you. The new with-it you could outfit the Duggars.

 

3. You can put on your baby's diaper while talking on the phone.

For the first few weeks, diaper changing will require your full concentration. You will be covered in fecal matter even WITH your full concentration, so you can only imagine what would happen if you were to be distracted.

I suffered an early defeat in this realm at the pediatrician's office. I panicked when I was told by the nurse that it was time to put Nolan's diaper on after his exam. I tried to act cool, like the mother of a 6 week old and not of a 2 week old, but my nerves got the best of me. Flustered, knowing that I was being watched and judged, I fumbled the diaper and put it on backwards. My husband Brian of course knew I botched this most simple of tests, but he did not want to intervene with the nurse in the room. That ship was sinking alone.

Once you have "arrived" you will have the contours of the diaper memorized. YOU will be a diaper prodigy. You can even take a phone call during this task. You will probably still be covered in feces, especially if you just started your baby on carrots. But, let's be honest, your baby's bright orange and kinda solid poop also screams of experience. It's not that runny bullshit from the first 2 months.

 

4. You can breastfeed semi-discreetly.

Please do not confuse this with moms who nurse their babies IN the baby carriers while walking around - we are not shooting for that level of skill. I just mean you can breastfeed in front of others without creating an entirely ridiculous scene straight from the pages of National Geographic.

Please note that I am actually topless in this photo. Yes, I am wearing a cover, but I am now aware that I was still supposed to be wearing a shirt.

Please note that I am actually topless in this photo. Yes, I am wearing a cover, but I am now aware that I was still supposed to be wearing a shirt.

For the first two weeks of Nolan's life I was never NOT topless. Not because I had some hippy-mom vision of myself, but because I could NOT control my boobs and the baby at once. A shirt added a layer of complexity to the equation that I couldn't fathom dealing with.

 

5.  You can perform high stakes tasks on your baby such as taking a rectal temperature and cutting his nails.

Both tasks hold for new moms the fear of destroying their precious cargo. The rectal is really easy in reality, but let's be honest - nobody wants to be the first one to stick anything into the great beyond of their baby's nether regions. It's probably how Lewis and Clark felt at some point. And the nails? As Brian once told me post-early cutting attempt, "Nolan's onesie looks like a crime scene." But once you are an experienced and with-it mother, you can shove the thermometer right on up the old behind if your baby so much as looks warm. And you can cut those nails with garden shears. {note: Hip moms don't use garden shears. That was just a joke. Please keep your shears in the shed and away from your baby, he/she still has very tiny hands}.

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6. You can deftly manage a swaddle.

Prior to Nolan's birth, Brian and I spent hours studying the nuances of swaddling our baby. We practiced using the fancy Aden and Anais blankets that are roughly the size of picnic blankets. We practiced on a teddy bear while following along with You Tube videos. We totally dominated that teddy bear, and then we had a baby and realized that we did not have the patience or need to do high end origami designs on our little meatball. So now we use velcro swaddles. Done and done. *In this category you are probably "hipper" if you use the Aden & Anais picnic blankets. But velcro is really easy. You will have to make a judgment call.

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7. You can carry the baby in your arms alongside other less precious items, say a laptop or basketball or, if you are super experienced, a mini fridge.

When you first have your baby you think that carrying him anywhere is a task as delicate as neurosurgery. What if you trip? What if your baby falls from your arms? What could go wrong? You know you've "arrived" if you can manage to get to a mommy group with your baby in one hand and your Dunks coffee, keys and purse in the other. You don't need to bring your lawnmower to prove your point.

 

8. It does not require you, your significant other, and a backup pit crew to bathe your baby.

You have arrived as a mom when you can manage the bath solo. There is a caveat to this, which is that your baby needs to actually get clean. It doesn't count if he just sort of splashes and marinates in his own filth.

It was a great idea to document this early bath, because as you see this angle is flattering. We will DEFINITELY want to have this view years from now.

It was a great idea to document this early bath, because as you see this angle is flattering. We will DEFINITELY want to have this view years from now.

 

So, new moms, if you meet the above criteria you have officially arrived! You know what you are doing, at least as compared to the mother of a newborn! Congratulations! Now, of course I think we are all clear that we have no idea what in the hell we're doing as compared to actual experienced parents of grown children, but that's beside the point. For now.

{Author's note: Earlier I mentioned the rare breed of new mom who can breastfeed her baby IN the carrier (Moby, Ergo, Crafty Handmade Woven Number, etc). You ladies, if by some chance you are reading this blog and not a much cooler blog like Girls Gone Child, are in an ENTIRELY different category. You are the Usain Bolts of new motherhood.  You should only set up your play dates with Angelina Jolie, because she is on your level. Everyone else reading this: NEVER compare yourself to this breed of new mother. You can only lose. If you pass this mother at Trader Joe's keep your eyes on the prepared foods and $4 bottles of wine.}


liz.jpg

Liz spent much of the past decade as a social worker and photographer, earning very little money but having the opportunity to travel widely and meet many interesting people, including a drunk Canadian who cut her a mullet on a dare. Now a full-time mom and blogger, Liz is continuing her quest to make no money and spending her days wondering why her son so closely resembles a ham. While many, many people call her Mother Earth, she finds that cumbersome. Please just call her Liz. Liz blogs about the joy and ridiculousness that is motherhood at the "hit blog" (her own words) A Mothership Down.

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