Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Product Guide - Baby Equipment

Baby equipment has changed dramatically in the last decade, from new names for old ideas to completely new products never before seen. If you've been out of the baby game for a while or don't have any kids yourself, it can be tough to decipher a baby registry or gift request.

Here's a guide to the most commonly mislabled items!

Playard 

What is it? It is what used to be called a playpen. Many people call it a "Pack 'n' Play" which is actually a Graco brand (similar to how we tend to call all facial tissue "Kleenex").

What's different about it today? Today's playards have many more safety features built into them. For example, the sides of the yard will not collapse unless the center of the bottom is pulled up, which is impossible if baby is still in the playard. This simple improvement has dramatically reduced the number of deaths seen with the older style playpens. Playards today can also have all kinds of "extras"...here are a few:

Click HERE to see a great video on modern playards.
  • Bassinet attachment: Perfect for infants younger than 3 months, this is a platform that lifts the sleeping mat up so you do not have to bend all the way over to lay baby down or pick him/her up. Bassinet attachments can stretch the entire length of the playard or be half as long.
  • Changing table attachment: Indented platform that attaches to the top of the playard, intended to be used as a small changing table.
  • Diaper organizer attachment: Fabric or plastic piece that attaches to the side of the playard with several compartments or pockets used to organize diaper changing supplies.
  • Electronic soother: Today's electronic attachments often have music and nature sounds, soothing vibrations, diaper changing light, and a timer (to shut itself off automatically).

Bouncer or Bouncy Seat (often confused with a Jumper, see below)
Click HERE to see more bouncers at Toys R Us



What is it? A reclined hammock-like seat on a metal frame with a 3-point harness and usually with a toy bar or mobile, vibration, and music. Often the term "bouncy" refers to the slight flexibility of the metal frame which allows the seat to bounce gently in response to baby's movements.

What's different about it today? Many bouncers now have adjustable recline (older infants prefer to sit more upright) and some even convert to a toddler rocking chair, extending the usefulness of this product well beyond the older models' intended use. Some seats even have an "automatic bouncer" which bounces the seat up and down electronically.


Jumper (often confused with a Bouncer or a Johnny-Jump-Up )

 
Click HERE to read about this Jumper

What is it? Most commonly, a three- or four-legged frame with a seat in the middle, usually suspended by fabric-covered springs.

This is a fairly new innovation. Many people call it a "Jumperoo" which is a Fisher-Price brand. A popular substitute for a walker, this allows baby to move more and exercise legs while keeping him/her stationary. Toys on the tray in front of the seat provide additional entertainment and often include lights and music.



Doorway Jumper
 
Click HERE to visit Target & read more

What is it? This seat is suspended by four fabric straps and a plastic-sheathed spring topped with a spring-loaded clamp that attaches to the top of a doorway that has a moulding on the inside and outside. Many people call it a "Johnny Jump Up," which is a brand name for the product made by Graco.

What's different about it today? Today's models are much safer than those of years ago. The spring mechanism is fully enclosed to prevent pinched fingers. In addition, the hard plastic framing prevents tangling of straps or tipping of the seat.


Exersaucer
 
Click HERE to see Exersaucers at Walmart

What is it? A four-legged round table with a seat suspended in the middle connected to a saucer-shaped bottom platform that allows the table to tilt and rock. The seat rotates 360* to allow baby access to all parts of the table top. "Exersaucer" is actually a brand of Evenflo. However, Evenflo is the only maker we've seen of this type of product so "Exersaucer" is perfectly appropriate.

What's different about it today? This product is safer and more durable today than in years past. The fabric seat attaches to the frame more securely and is easy to remove for washing. The first model of Exersaucer was just a plain table top. Today there are dozens of themed Exersaucers from "Under the Sea" to "Animal Crackers."


*Looking for one of these items? Please VISIT OUR WEBSITE and fill out our Wish List form. We'll contact you when we get one in stock!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Buy & save...but buy safe

It's yard sale season again and that means fun in the early morning sun as you shop for bargains online and offline from independent sellers. We love a bargain, too, and are always on the lookout for great deals to pass along to our customers. Unfortunately, it happens too often that we see recalled, dirty, and downright dangerous items for sale to unknowing shoppers.

Caution is the name of the bargain game. While deals abound around every corner, both virtual and IRL, it is buyer beware. Because as Forrest Gump would say, "You never know what you're gonna get."




Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your child safe when shopping for and using products purchased at yard sales, online selling groups, ebay and any other means through which people sell to other people:
  1. Know what you are shopping for & research beforehand. Hoping to find an infant swing? Check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission website ahead of time for swing recalls for the last two years. You can even print out pictures of recalled swings so you'll know which ones to avoid while you're out hunting.
  2. Check from every angle for wear & intact parts. It may be awkward to get down on your knees and check the underside but it's worth it. Look for missing screws, wear/fading spots on hard plastic, empty slots or holes indicating a missing part, hairline cracks, and make sure the end pieces of all safety straps are present (the plastic or metal prong thingys that connect the straps together to make a complete loop).
  3. Consider the implications for safe cleaning & reassembly. Some things are so simple to clean it requires no more than a once-over with a sanitizer on a cloth. Other things might be much more difficult. Before you buy a used stroller, for example, figure out how it comes apart for washing...and then consider how complicated it will be to reassemble correctly and safely (is it a velcro pull-apart or does it take 30 screws?).
  4. Test it out. Pull on the edges of the fabric, check underneath layers for mold, open and close all compartments, move all the moveable parts. On strollers, undo the brakes and push it around; do the wheels wobble? is it a smooth ride? is the handlebar at the right height for you? Consider carrying some "D" batteries with you so you can test swings and other large electronic equipment.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the final (and best, IMHO) option of all; shop at a reputable resale store that checks daily for recalls and has long experience in checking for safety, cleaning, and assembling thousands of toys, swings, trailers, strollers, jumpers and every other type of baby item.

Alright, bargain-hunting soldiers, carry on! Be smart, be safe, have fun!

*cool pic courtesy of "The Dandylion Life" from a really cool article she wrote called "I brake for garage sales"...it's a good read if you want to check it out!

Friday, December 19, 2014

All I want for Christmas is my money back!

Holidays can be financially stressful, as well as a drain on time and peace of mind. Decisions about who to buy for, how much to spend, extra spending for food, decorations, and activities, finding time for shopping, wrapping... The money & time flowing out seems endless!

Imagine the delight if the flow reversed and came back to you! It can happen, and we can help.

First, we can help you save money on your Christmas shopping...
Some people are apprehensive about giving a "used" gift. If you're unsure, ask! You might be surprised at the relief on the other side because they will then know it's ok for them to give a gently used gift, also. Even if you opt for a gift certificate, ten dollars at the local resale or thrift store goes further than the same amount at a big retailer!

In addition, even at "used" stores items come in from suppliers still new with tags. Some stores like Born Again Resale & Consignment order new items to cater to their customers' preferences. These hard-to-find and unusual items will make your gift extra special because it is unique.

Second, you can make money at resale stores during the holidays...
Since new toys are coming, clearing out outgrown toys will help your stress level in two ways; extra money and less clutter. Their outgrown toys and clothes, along with your own underloved clothing, can mean cash in your pocket!

Sure, there are other ways you could sell your gently used items. Ebay, Amazon, and Facebook selling groups are options, too. You might even make a little more per item. But don't discount the value of your own time and sanity. Photographing, researching pricing, listing, maintaining listing, answering questions, scheduling appointments, meeting for appointments, handling no-shows, handling haggling...these all chip away at your precious time and peace of mind. If you sell through eBay and Amazon, you'll also have to package and ship the item.

One trip to Born Again and you're done, with cash in hand and mental health intact. And that is priceless!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! May the blessings of the season fill your hearts and homes.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The hardest job in the world?

That's a BIG title. Lots of occupations try to claim it; air traffic controllers, doctors, judges, leader of the free world, teachers and moms. That last one may seem cliché and I'm not trying to define any one occupation over another as having a more legitimate claim on the title. But what I'd like to talk about is why moms feel the need to define ourselves in this way.


Recently, I was reading a blog that touted the virtues of motherhood, listing the trials and tribulations we moms endure in order to herd our kidlets to adulthood with nary a milestone going by that isn't photographically, geographically, instragrammatically, and facebooktastically documented for all the world to see. The blog was predictably sweet.


The comments were the most interesting part, though! Over and over again people listed jobs that were "much more important" than Mom, often with sarcastic overtones about the super duper job the writer--referred to more than once as "Super Soccer Snack Mom"--must be doing in her occupation. Why the hostility?! Why do we feel the need to prove the importance of motherhood? And why must others strive to prove its relative unimportance?


Doctors, lawyers, taxi drivers, maids, garbage collectors, garment makers...every other occupation in the world has a definition, a code of conduct, rules, objectives. Not so with motherhood. Then again, I suppose that depends on who you ask. There are infinite numbers of people who will tell you exactly what a mother is supposed to do. The problem is that the list is long, impossible, and contains contradictory messages!


Spank versus don't spank
Gender specific activities versus gender non-specific
Public, private, or homeschool
Work outside the home versus work only in the home
Disposable diapers versus cloth diapers
...and on and on and on...


The list is endless! And it seems that for every decision on that list a host of experts are warning us of the long-reaching, detrimental consequences for our child, no matter which way we choose!


For a doctor, it's pretty much accepted that his or her duty is "First do no harm" and then to kick diseases' butts. For lawyers, they're supposed to uphold the law and fight for their client. Maids are supposed to clean and organize. What are moms "supposed" to do?


I think you could keep a perfect house, make a gourmet from-scratch meal every night, breastfeed every child until they are exactly 25 months 15 days and 12 hours old, run an at-home business making a six-figure income between the hours of noon and 1pm while the kids are at language immersion class that you drove them to in your electric hybrid SmartCar, and some expert  somewhere is going to tell you you're still doing it wrong...probably because you didn't hand-weave their mittens or something.


The target changes constantly! That is what's hard about motherhood. In a way, moms have to be both scientist and artist; constant trial and error to discover what works for your child (sometimes completely different for each child in the same family), and finesse to apply what works while bringing out the best in your son or daughter.


Every job is important, of course. But take heart, Super Soccer Snack Mom. I think you rock!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Cleaning Stress ~ Guest Blogger


When we have visitors for the holidays, we may suddenly look around and become overwhelmed with all the cleaning that needs to be done before inviting others into our homes! I don't know about you, but as a mom, wife, and business owner, I find I am often so busy that cleaning and organizing just falls by the wayside; "clean enough" for my own family is a different standard in my mind than "clean enough" for visitors! I asked Bethany Peterson, co-owner of Maid to Clean, Born to Paint to share her thoughts about how to conquer this never ending task...

"CLEANING. Blah! That dreaded word! Cleaning seems to be something that everyone dreads; it's this big, daunting, tiresome thing that never goes away.

"My experience is that most people tend to have a day of the week designated for cleaning and they spend all day doing so. When you work full time, tote your kids around to different activities, cook dinner every night for your husband, and try to squeeze in reading a book...why would you want to spend an entire day cleaning?

"Consier approaching your house cleaning like this instead:
Monday -- bathroom
Tuesday -- floors
Wednesday -- deep clean kitchen
Thursday -- dust

"Spending just one or two hours a day cleaning means you get your whole house cleaned weekly, leaving your days off for just that...days OFF!

"One of the best ways to keep on top of your house work is to start fresh. This time of year is the perfect time to consider hiring a professional cleaning company to do a one-time, deep clean. Once your house is in tip-top shape with every nook and cranny cleaned, maintenance is so much easier.

"The biggest piece of advice I can give you when looking for a cleaning company is make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured. Those three things ensure your safety and will give you a sense of security when you have strangers in your home around the things you hold most dear. Licensed, bonded, and insured companies pay taxes on their earnings and carry worker's compensation insurance, so you should expect to pay more than you would pay someone without those credentials offering an hourly rate. Regardless of who you hire, don't be afraid to ask questions and request references.

"If you would rather do a deep clean yourself, here are some tips:

"The first thing you need to do is get some Magic Erasers if you don't already have some. They are the greatest invention EVER for crayon on walls, fingerprints on light switches, scuff marks on floors, and everything in between! Always clean from top to bottom -- cobwebs, ceiling fans, light fixtures, dusting, wall washing, baseboards, and finish with vacuuming and mopping. ZEP brand Stainless Steel cleaner is the BEST and is virtually streak-free on any and all stainless surfaces. Clean the main soils off first and then use the polish sparingly. And always follow the grain of your steel! ZAP! works great for soap scum buildup in your showers and tubs. Using lemon oil on your wood cabinets every two weeks will keep them looking shiny and clean and will preserve the wood.

"Regardless of whether you choose to do the cleaning yourself or hire someone to help you keep it up, your home is your sanctuary! Peace of mind is important in your home. If it's overwhelming or stressing to you, hire someone to come in and get you started. Gift certificates for cleaning that you can use a couple times throughout the year could be at the top of your Christmas list and help you keep the dust bunnies at bay! "

Thanks Bethany! You can visit Maid to Clean, Born to Paint on their FACEBOOK PAGE and on their WEBSITE.

Merry Christmas & Happy (ha ha) Cleaning!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A FREE Mini Manicure? Oh yes!

The lovely ladies from The Parlor Salon are coming to Born Again Resale this Saturday to do FREE mini manicures for moms & daughters, just for fun!!! I asked Jessica, one of the owners, to explain just what a mini manicure is and why it's important to take care of our nails, and why we should start our daughters young with proper nail care...

"Everyday we try to be aware how each choice we make about our diet, environment, physical activities and beauty regimens, affects our health. Manicures and pedicures, once thought of as a luxury, have healing qualities that are beneficial as well as relaxing. 

"Manicures and Pedicures which cater to your own natural nails can help you overcome nail biting, ingrown toenails, and improve nail strength and the overall look of your hands and feet. By choosing natural nails you can avoid several issues artificial nails can cause, such as temporary or permanent nail plate damage and fungal infections. 

"It is important that you choose a nail care professional that adheres to strict sanitation procedures with all of the implements, files and surfaces utilized during your treatment. The mini mani consists of basic nail care; clipping and filing the nails, cuticle care, and massage."

We are so excited to be offering this special event, a FREE Mini Mani Day, in partnership with The Parlor Salon. Please come visit us this Saturday, July 27th, between 10am and noon! Nail care and shopping...a perfect day!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Why Cloth Diapering?



Our guest blogger, Betsy Wright, is a cloth-diapering mama with great experience to share...

"As a parent you get make all kinds of choices for your baby. Becoming a parent changes the way you think and do practically everything. Many things in the world we can’t protect our children from but we can make wise choices while leaving them a planet with reduced waste. 

"I did some research when I found out I was pregnant. I discovered that to produce disposable diapers for one child for just one year it takes over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstock and 20 pounds of chlorine, and that it takes 200-500 years for diapers to decompose! With that information, the decision was easy! 


"I couldn’t imagine exposing those sweet little buns directly to the toxins in disposable diapers. One toxin is Dioxin, a byproduct of the bleaching process. This method is banned in many countries and is known by the EPA as one of the most potent cancer-causing agents. Another toxin disposable diapers contain is sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance was used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980's when it was discovered that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome by increasing absorbency and improving the environment for the growth of toxin-producing bacteria.
 
"Everyone knows that babies are not inexpensive. The chance to save $1500-2500 per child by using cloth diapers sure sounded wonderful to me! Cloth diapers have come a long way since the days of soggy rubber pants and safety pins. They come in prints and cute colors in adjustable one-size-fits-all styles as your baby grows into potty training.

"Personally, I found no disposable could hold in a good newborn blowout better than my pocket diaper. As far as washing, you are always doing laundry with a baby anyway. One more load every couple days isn’t really all that more trouble. 

"A few tips I learned along the way:

  • Use a pail with a reusable, washable liner, sometimes also called a wet bag. 
  • Separate the dirty or wet diaper insets from the cover before tossing them into your pail.   
  • Use a diaper sprayer to spray off the dirty diapers, no need to spray off the wet ones (The sprayer also comes in extremely handy for rinsing out potty chairs). 
  • On wash day toss the diapers in your washer along with the liner, run them thru a rinse, then wash on a hot wash cycle. 
  • Follow with a rinse to get the soap residue out, dry in dryer or hang dry.   
"You might be wondering about the water usage to wash diapers weekly. The amount of water used per week to wash cloth diapers at home is about the same as consumed by an adult flushing the toilet four or five times daily. Water is a renewable resource; 300 pounds of wood is not. 

"Those sweet little buns will thank you for making such a wise choice!"

Thanks, Betsy, for sharing your experience and tips for successfully cloth diapering! Betsy's favorite diapers are Happy Heinys, which Born Again Resale & Consignment carries both new and gently used.