I've been saving up ideas for another 'favorite things' post and since today I hit SUBMIT on my first paper submission for journal publication I'm celebrating and doing something fun instead of jumping right into the next paper. Once again, like all my 'favorite things' I purchased these items myself and am reviewing them without request (or permission for that matter, not that I need it) from the manufacturer. I am listing them with amazon links, if you click on my link and purchase the item I think I might make three cents (this has yet to happen so I have zero expectation that it ever will) Here goes.
Boon Saucer Slip Resistant Plate: I really like this plate. It is the perfect size for toddler portions, so if Colin clears out a section of food I feel confident he has had 'enough' a concept that is very unclear at this age. The plate is a bit tricky for him to pick up, although not impossible. The walls of the sections are a good size for him to push against with a utensil. I think it is a great 'training' plate. More and more we are attempting to move away from the 'smorgasbord of food' placed on a tray and into a real meal scenario. This plate helps me remember to do that even when it would be easier not to.
Thermos Foogo Straw Bottle : This is a handy sippy cup for traveling. We take a lot of day trips or quick overnights and this is essential for that. It is insulated and therefore keeps Colin's milk cold even if we are away from a refrigerator all day. Lately we have also started using this as a smoothie cup because it is the only straw bottle I have. Another good beverage to keep cold until it is finished. I loved this bottle so much I started snagging it and using it myself without Colin around. It is a nice cup to share since it doesn't look like a sippy cup. I eventually got the adult sized version for myself. Colin as he has gotten older has gotten a bit more aggressive with throwing things so the lid is on its way to broken at the hinge but I would replace it in a heart beat.
BuiltNY Gourmet Getaway: Another great gadget for on the go tots, although I do not think that is who they are marketed for. I can fit a couple days worth of food in this bag, toss in a freezer pack and we are good to go. Keeps stuff cold, and keeps all Colin's food in one spot. Fits easily under the stroller and fold flat (or squished) when its empty. A real cooler has no place in my apartment. I even got two of these to give to people as Christmas gifts. I hope they like theirs as much as we like ours.
It is made from wet-suit material and is machine washable. Love it!
The Snack Trap: If you have a baby eating finger foods, you likely already have one of these, if not you need to get one. I've heard about people functioning without them but I don't know how. The second you give Colin an open bowl of snacks he inverts it and dumps the contents on the floor. At home I continue to let him eat them anyway, but out and about no way. I use these in the stroller and in the car and often can't find them because we left them in one of those places or the diaper bag. I now have five of them although I can pretty much guarantee there is only one in the drawer right now.
Safety 1st Spring n' Release Latches: I figured I should add a few things that weren't food related! These are the child proofing latches we ended up using on our living room book shelf cabinet. I like them because they have a spring in them so when you press down it 'gives' very easily. The older style you rely on the elasticity of the plastic to bend it away, and I find them much less user friendly. No breaking a nail on these kind! They were easy to install although the directions were actually pretty horrible. I did use my dewalt cordless screwdriver to pre-drill holes so it does require some semi-permanent installation. I was hoping to avoid that but in the end they keep Colin out and let me in so I'm pleased.
Canon FS10 Camcorder: Obviously the use of this item isn't limited to the toddler years but Colin is doing some pretty cute stuff right now (look for a video later this week!!). I have actually been asked lately about what camera I use and how I like it so I figured I would put it up here. I only ONLY use Canon cameras and I wanted a flash memory camera so there was very little debate about which camera we would purchase. I love this as a video camera, but the photo quality in the picture mode is pretty bad. I don't think I've used it as a still camera since Colin was 6 weeks old. Once I installed the software that actually came with the camera (literally a month ago) the download and video sharing has gotten much easier. I have no idea why I didn't do this sooner. I'm not big on reading directions I guess. But for those who have asked, yes I do recommend this camera. You can take it out of the box and have it figured out in no time at all. I have zero video camera experience prior to purchasing this, so take my opinions with a grain of salt.