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MetroMoms :: Best Gifts Found at the PBJ Show

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  PBJ Show at Dallas Market Center  
  Dallas Market Center launched a new trade event in March 2013 for baby gifts and gadgets and we are very excited about that. The new show event is called PBJ, which stands for Play, Baby, Juvenile. For years, MetroMoms has been reviewing, testing, recommending and awarding hundreds of products for moms and expectant moms. In working with the companies we have been able to get the inside scoop, give them our suggestions on their products, local retailers that should carry their products, and even recommend shows that we feel offer good exposure to retailers and consumers. We were honored to have been invited by DMC to attend the PBJ show and have to say, DMC puts on a good show: comfortable to navigate, with a fun, professional, yet playful feel! We found many great new finds that we can’t wait to tell you about, saw some familiar faces and met worthy contenders in the market. We’ve put together a guide of products we found at the PBJ show that you need to know about – whether you are looking for solutions for yourself or gifts for expecting moms – these are the products they will remember you for, and the products that may save your sanity! In appreciation to the companies that brought us these great gifts and gadgets, we are turning over our very favorite, top 5 to our friends and respected (really, worshipped is a better word) colleagues at TimeToPlayMag.com to further promote these well-deserved picks.  

 

Posh Play Mat and Posh Play Pad and Diaper Clutch Combo Created by a mom tired of having to wait for her traditional but not fashionable play mats to wash and dry, the Posh Play Mat is a one of a kind play mat. In fact, it’s everything we look for in a product: stylish, functional, convenient, safe, well-designed, and well-priced. We were so happy to see Posh Play Mat at the PBJ show because it’s one of those new finds you get so excited about and want everyone to know about. We first reviewed the Play Mat less than a year ago and didn’t believe that something so posh could hold up to a child’s lifestyle until we tested it. It held up to everything we threw at it: toys, snacks, drinks, paints, scooter wheels, furniture, arts & crafts, a bored 5 year old at her brother’s soccer game, and cleaning solutions without a single clue that anything was on it. Yet it looks so darn good in any room of the house! At the PBJ show we were lucky enough to see the new color in person – the new pink is so vibrant and contemporary that the website photos do not do it justice. You can take the mat outside, the wind will not have corners blowing around and it stays in place, never bunching up. Comfortable and large, the mat measures 50” x 45” and is available in Chocolate, Pink and Blonde fashions, all PVC-free faux leather. The Posh Play Pad and Diaper Clutch Combo is a portable changing pad and clutch for stylish diaper changing on the go, and moms essentials beyond diapers. The pad is a perfect size to use as a feeding mat at a restaurant, and the gorgeous, generously-sized clutch (yes, it holds your e-reader) is sure to be a staple accessory beyond diaper needs. Wipe them clean both inside and out with a damp cloth. Watch this company – we are positive they will have many more great products to come!
Pello There are times we walk by a product at a show and say “Whoa! Yes! Of Course! Why didn’t anybody think of that before?” Well, get ready to say ‘hello’ to pello. It makes perfect sense: a portable, washable, lovable, play space floor pillow for anybody that has ever tried to prop baby up on a nursing pillow, blanket, or other item that was not designed as pello is. For play time, tummy time, or chill time – your biggest decision is which design to get. We were pulled in with a glance: we saw a pillow that gives baby a safe place to play, work developing muscles, relax, pose for photos, and protect baby from rolling or falling over. On a closer look, we discovered there was even more to this design: plenty of loops for toys or baby’s accessories; handles to pick it up with, a dual-sided cover, and gorgeous coordinating plush blankets to choose from. Best of all, it is machine washable and dryer safe – “hello, pello! Welcome to our ‘Must Have Baby Accessories’ list!”
Sakura Bloom Baby Sling File this under “I want another baby just so I can have one, or three of these.” The Sakura Bloom Baby Sling is the finest we have seen. Probably because they use the world’s finest all-natural fabrics like naturally antibacterial, cool to wear Irish linen and lightweight, breathable Indian dupioni silk. But don’t be afraid, all Sakura Bloom slings are machine washable. They are also fully reversible – so gorgeous are the coordinating and contrasting fabrics that you’ll wish you could find a way to wear one even though you don’t have a baby or toddler with you. Beautifully designed to fit all body shapes and sizes, this is one classic accessory you’ll be proud to wear or gift. While most slings leave the wearer with extra bunched up fabric, constant adjustments, or bulky rings, this ring sling perfectly balances elegance and function.
Comfy Cradle If you have ever had a baby fall asleep on your arm, you will totally understand why every new mom needs a Comfy Cradle. We are not sure how or why, but we do know this for sure: a baby’s head seems to quadruple in weight when baby is lying in your arms. We don’t dare to disturb the precious bundle if they are eating and certainly know better than to wake them. We are willing to lose feeling in our arm first, right? Comfy Cradle goes under the “To a New Mom, From an Experienced Mom” category. It’s a simple idea: a soft pillow that wraps around your arm to keep you both comfortable, supporting baby’s head while relieving the strain on your arm. But the genius is in this design that makes it comfortable without being bulky, functional yet portable, and washable - even dryable without bunching. Filling is 100% hypoallergenic polyester, cover is 100% cotton. Stop trying to bunch up a blanket to do the job, Comfy Cradle is easy to use and takes up less space than a baby blanket!
cutey booty Have you had enough of the loud colors and offending patterns that scream at you from the clothing aisles of baby stores? Our children are cute enough without the bling. Let their clothes compliment their cuddly softness, not swallow it up. When we met the creators of cutey booty, we almost shed a tear, and I am pretty sure we hugged them. We still can’t get over this line of baby’s wardrobe essential. It’s the Quadruple Threat of the industry: unbelievably refreshing and cute, long lasting, incredibly soft in feel and look, and priced so well, you may wonder if they made a mistake in the math. Did we say long lasting? The cleverly designed grow-with-me cuffs have baby covered for one full year of growth! We love the snaps for easy diaper changes and the modern, calm hues that let their own little light shine.
BabyComfyNose We have always been intrigued by snot suckers, and have tried a few at least once. But the ick factor had us giving up quickly. Bulb-style aspirators are impossible to clean and sterilize. Just cut a used one in half and take a look, you’d never consciously put something that harbors so much bacteria near your baby’s nose. They are meant to be disposable but moms still bring them home and use them for months! Battery-powered nasal aspirators work great only if you have very fresh batteries in them, but the sound may scare little ones. A very promising solution to cleaning noses has been human-operated suction aspirators. It makes great sense: human lungs can generate and control the suction power. It’s a gentle, controlled, loving solution…but until now it’s just been gross and tedious. Some almost had it right but we just were not satisfied with having to purchase special filters and handling the yucky ones. So when we saw The BabyComfyNose we knew immediately that the perfect solution has finally arrived. You use regular tissue that you already purchase for your home – the kind you use on your own snot. Just dump used tissue in the trash. But you still don’t have to handle anything icky because some genius behind the product made a mesh bag that you can put the pieces in and then wash the bag with contents inside in the dishwasher! Just hang to bag to dry. We love that it’s available in three colors so each child can have their own designated unit, and the soft silicone on the mouth and nose piece to make it even more comfortable to use.
Beachfront Baby No matter which is your favorite baby carrier or baby wrap, they all have one limitation: they are not made to wear in water. Beachfront Baby is really on to something. 100% polyester jersey baby wraps made for sport, summer heat, beach, pool, waterpark or shower. Breathable and with just the right amount of stretch, this lightweight carrier keeps you and baby cool in the heat, together in the water, and dries quickly! No buckles or snaps, just a long tapered piece of swimsuit-feel cloth that will become second-nature in wrapping. Now you can be hands-free anywhere!
Doodle Strap You know that game babies play where they throw something down and make you get it back, every time, or they cry? One of the leading factors of child-induced sanity is the hundreds of times parents have to reach, bend, retrieve, clean and replenish inventory on dropped cups, toys, pacies, and teething rings. If you have ever tried to reach in the back seat for a dropped item to appease a screaming child, stopped in the middle of the street to pick up the toy that fell out of the stroller, or can’t walk past the high chair without picking up a cup then you must get the Doodle Strap. It just may keep you sane. This two-part strap includes the anchor, which clips to the neck of the car’s headrest or stroller/seat frame, and the adjustable strap, which loops around the precious item. The additionally available Hitch-It! Extends the versatility of the Doodle Strap by allowing you to connect it on additional places. We love the many colors available and no sharp pieces to hurt baby!
Guava Kids Baby mittens are such a great idea but only work until they fall off or baby pulls them off, which is not long. We want them to work. We want to keep germs off baby’s hands and fingernails off faces. But we don’t want to constantly pick up fallen mittens. When we saw the guava kids mittens at the PBJ show we immediately fell in love with them, over and over again, each time we saw another unique feature! Obviously, they are beautiful. Designs are quirky, cool, calm, fun, modern, and classic. We just love how they feel: so soft, made from 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton blend. You may not notice the science at first glance, but those bold, contrasting colors on the top of the mitt – which are also reversible – engage baby for brain and eye development. We love the stay-put adjustable design: a signature closure system keeps them on comfortably and adjusts to growing baby. We love that they are made from renewable resources that are also gentle on the earth. The bamboo and organic cotton blend was also chosen for protective breathability and antimicrobial properties. And we love that the designs are just as trendy as our baby’s wardrobes! Someone finally got this classic accessory right!
Toofeze If teething babies could speak, they’d say “We want relief and we want it now.” They will love Toofeze because of its three distinct chewing surfaces. Parents will love it because it’s all-natural, and it works. Pediatricians recommend it because it is safe. We were so impressed with this product for its therapeutic properties and its convenience. It’s made with food-grade, hypoallergenic ingredients. In the center is a cool stainless steel disc that has been clinically shown to reduce painful teething symptoms. The disc chills instantly in cold water – perfect for the restaurant or when you are out and about and can get to cold water. It is ergonomically designed so it’s easy for baby to hold and aids in motor development. It’s also very easy to clean with soap, wipes, or dishwasher. And we love that you can turn what is sure to be yours and babies best friend in the teething months into a keepsake by engraving the disc.
Cloud b We’ve always had a sweet spot for Cloud b because Could b takes up a spot in each of our children’s rooms, gently helping them soothe and sleep each night. Every child should have a Cloud b product in their room and every expectant mom should have one on her registry. We are already big fans of the Twilight Friends line that project comforting effects, and some sounds. We have always recommended Sleep Sheep and Sleep Friends that use proven soothing sounds to lull your babe from crying to calm. We were so excited to see the newest addition to the lines at the PBJ show! Twinkles to Go Octo™ – Ocean is the compact addition to the Twilight Friends line. Take it with you on the road so little one always has a soothing friend to help comfort into sleep. Twinkles helps ease fear of the dark too, with a 45-minutes auto shut-off and two soothing color options.
Coppertone UV Headwear Sun screen is great and all but when baby is too young, you don’t have time to apply it, or don’t want to mangle their hair to get it on their scalp – you will want to reach for the Coppertone UV Headwear made by InnoVision Headwear, Inc. These adorable hats are 50+ UPF and provide full head protection. Kids won’t fight their favorite Sesame characters. We are really impressed with how well they are made. Durable, with a comfort band inside, machine washable and comfortable! A must have for any sunny time of year.
Kidaroo Crew Sippy cup labels have always been a needed accessory but we saw one brand at the PBJ show that stood out: Kidaroo Crew. Sippy Grab and Sungaroo cup and bottle labels are so well made. These bands easily stretch around most bottles and cups so everyone knows who they belong too. You can write a name in the name space and either boil it to set it in or wipe off to re-use again and again. Our favorite option: You can also order custom-engraved bands for personalized use. Non-toxic, BPA, Phtalate and Lead free, microwaveable and dishwasher safe, you can reduce the spread of germs, and tantrums with Kidaroo Crew. We also see it as a great party favor!
BabyRoad We often get bored at shows seeing the same prints and designs over and over again. But we immediately stopped during the PBJ show to take a long look at BabyRoad. These cloth diapers, burp cloths and security blankets are the absolute perfect balance of unique and classic. Take a classic burp cloth/reusable diaper, make it uber-soft, and add adorable, unique characters, and you’ll see why we love BabyRoad so much. You have to be patient though; they will not hit the stores until summer of 2013.
Balboa Baby Balboa Baby has always been a MetroMoms favorite for its fashionable, simple, and classic nursing covers, shopping cart covers and high chair covers. Unique patterns make this line stand out; design and function set the bar higher. Shopping Cart Cover is machine washable and truly easy to install with one hand. We love that it folds compactly into itself and the toy loops to make shopping trips fun. It fits most restaurant highchairs, but because it is thoughtfully made larger to fit larger shopping carts, the High Chair Cover also offers a germ-free environment in a more compact size. Both have gorgeous, comfortable quilted fabrics. Nursing Covers are thoughtfully contoured to fit around you and baby and are generously sized to give you full coverage. We love the easy-to-access accessory pocket to hold your nursing pads or burp cloth and the stylish buckle to keep it securely in place.
Lollaland The Lollacup by Lollaland is probably the most innovative cup we have ever seen. Let’s cut to the chase. One of the biggest frustrations for a child learning to drink from a cup is the frustration in getting to all the drink, balancing the cup just right so that the straw reaches the drink, and leaks when the cup is turned over. The Lollacup has a flexible, weighted straw that follows the drink no matter how your child holds the cup. Brilliant. Made in the USA, BPA and phthalate-free, the cup holds 10 oz and includes a special brush for cleaning the straw. Adorable designs will have any child warming up to it, convenience and function will have them loving it!
Me Cute Me Cute is appropriately named for the very cute burp cloths and wipes clutches they designed. The Wipe Me diaper clutch holds 2-3 diapers and is a lightweight, bulk-free clutch with front panel for wipes and parent pocket for other essentials. We really appreciate the stylish fabrics and the simple design that has just what you need for a quick diaper change. Burp Me are designer burp cloths to show off. Most importantly, they are absorbent and incredibly soft. Bonus: they are really cute!
Mimi’s Nursery We have to declare that we are really impressed with the quality of the products from Mimi’s Nursery. As varied as our team visiting the PBJ show is, we all found something we liked. The line includes bedding, bibs, blankets, burp cloths, and hooded towels, all well-made and well-priced, which is a good thing because you will have a hard time choosing a fashion! Burp cloths are generously sized, bibs have three layers for extra absorbency, and hooded towels will last through the preschool years. Handcrafted sweetness!
Nested Bean Moms are naming Nested Bean a lifesaver. Anything that helps our babies sleep better at night by definition is a life saver, and Nested Bean’s Zen Swaddle is doing just that. This swaddle is everything you should demand – soft and comfortable, with pleasing patterns. But it’s also has something you never thought you could ask for in a swaddle: gentle, nurturing touch. Moms know, and scientists agree, that mother’s gentle touch can soothe baby and plays a vital role in early childhood development. Nested Bean has designed its 100% cotton Zen Swaddle to gently hug your baby and mimic the touch of your hand on baby’s sides and middle. This slight pressure is medically proven to calm babies by triggering a self- soothing response. Perfectly named, the Zen Swaddle gives baby better sleep, which means you will both be more rested and less-stressed.
Bunchees Here’s another simple, just makes sense idea: Bunchees Baby Bottle bibs. If you have ever stuffed bibs, burp cloths, washcloths, or paper towels under baby’s chin before bottle feeding to catch the leaks, only to you will understand the need for this product. Why let the milk or formula make its way to baby’s neck in the first place? Baby Bottle Bibs were made to catch and absorb the leaks, dribbles, or otherwise-escaped liquids from bottle or baby’s mouth. Made from highly absorbent plush microfiber, the collar fits around bottle and conveniently rests under bottle’s neck and baby’s neck. A simple, well-priced solution!
Tady Tote Tady Tote was one of the coolest items we saw at the PBJ show. It combines a soft, plush, friendly cushioned play mat with a durable water-resistant protective backing. Imagine taking your favorite blanket or comforter out to play and not having to worry about it getting grassy, muddy or wet. Baby will love snuggling on this cute friendly plush, and you will love the convenience and portability. Transforms from tote to play area easily by just folding and unfolding! Two large pockets allow you to bring along necessities and toys for your outing. Teddy bear blanket can be removed to go anywhere and to allow for easy machine washing. We were so impressed with its large play area!
Simply Stated Jewelry Your children are one of a kind, your family is one of a kind, and you are a one of a kind mother. Your jewelry should be too. We can’t help but love Simply Stated Jewelry and the many options of custom-designed our own special pieces that tell our very special stories. You choose the hand-stamped pieces and embellishments that personalize your necklace. You can choose inspirational words, your child’s names or initials to make it as special as your family. A variety of designs offer endless combinations to make your piece your very own.
Puj When we first saw the Puj Tub years ago we were blown away by the design and function. Now Puj has done it again with the new Big Hug premium fitted Toddler Towel. If we only had a nickel for every time our toddler declared “I’m too cold to hold my towel!” The Big Hug is a great solution with arm pockets for children to easily wrap and dry themselves. We were happy to see the addition of the hood hook to hang dry. Generous sizing will grow with your child to 8 years old.

 


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