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Parent tested

Keeping cribs safe

New Minnesota Parent office baby, Will, is currently testing Minneapolis-based Breathable Baby, a mesh crib bumper that promotes airflow, keeps arms and legs from getting stuck in slats, and collapses to help prevent climbing. With the increased awareness of crib safety, the Breathable Bumper is an exclusive fabric with A.C.T. Air Channel Technology that promotes airflow and helps maintain air access. This product has been Pediatrician evaluated and recommended. Soft and padded, it’s hypoallergenic, machine washable, and fast drying. Will’s mom says, “I would definitely recommend this bumper to other new parents.” Available on Amazon, about $30.


New baby shops in Woodbury


Butters&beans kids opened a store toward the end of July on Hudson Road in Woodbury. Specializing in eco-friendly infant clothing as well as accessories and toys, Butters&beans is a local line developed by Ann Evans, who was featured as our Real Parent in the July 2011 issue. Says Evans, who will also be offering monthly design workshops, “I’m excited to open this storefront because I can’t wait to meet my clients, be a part of their lives, and watch their children grow.” Go to Buttersandbeans.com for more info.

buybuy Baby will open its first store in Minnesota at the Woodbury Lakes shopping center this fall. The store will occupy 28,000 square feet, one of the smaller-sized locations for the chain.

buybuy BABY’s selection includes an assortment of premier infant and toddler merchandise in a variety of categories. You can also visit the website, buybuybaby.com.



Support breast cancer awareness—and babies’ bottoms, too


From September 1, 2011 to October 30, 2011, any purchase of a GroVia Cosmos All-in-One, Newborn, or Hybrid cloth diaper system will help us take one step closer to generating awareness for the pink ribbon month. With a purchase of a Cosmos diaper, each customer will receive 10% off their purchase, and GroVia will donate 10% back to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Yes, national breast cancer awareness month is October, but why not support the cause now? With one in eight women diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, we all know someone directly affected by this heartbreaking disease. In celebration of the strong, amazing women who face this disease each day, visit grovia.com.



New American Girl characters launching

On August 30, American Girl launched two new historical characters, Cécile Rey and Marie-Grace Gardner, in one six-book series set in 1850s New Orleans. Of course, we couldn’t be more excited, as the lovely city of New Orleans holds a piece of Minnesota Parent’s heart.

The new characters show the power of friendship and community as they reach across the boundaries of race and class to help their families, friends, and city during a time of great need.

To celebrate Cécile and Marie-Grace’s debut and the rich musical tradition of New Orleans, American Girl has partnered with 13-year-old Kate Connick and her father, world-renowned musician and actor Harry Connick, Jr., to create an original song “A Lot Like Me” with all proceeds benefiting the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans.



Baby clothes for rent


If the Netflix model works for kids’ video games, toys, adult clothes, and cell phones—then why not baby clothes as well? That, indeed, is essentially the premise behind Plum, a San Francisco startup that offers baby clothes for rent by the month.

Reports springwise.com, customers of Plum begin by specifying whether they’d like to receive two, four or seven outfits at a time. Plum will then send out an initial bundle of organically laundered, good-as-new items in seasonally appropriate styles and the correct size, all packed in a returnable envelope with a little organic muslin laundry bag. After that point, clothes can be sent back at any time within three months. So, when baby outgrows an outfit, parents can return it to Plum and receive replacements in the next size. Stains are no problem for Plum customers, either, because the company simply donates such items to children in foster care—there’s no extra charge for parents. Pricing ranges from $16 per month for two outfits to $49 per month for seven outfits. Visit plumgear.com for more info.



Vending machine diaper bag

Forgot a diaper, run out of wipes, lost the pacifier? Look no further than a Diaper Bag Basic vending machine to cover your needs.

Diaper Bag Basics is a locally owned and operated vending business started by two local St. Paul moms. “We’ve both been out on the go with our kids and inevitably forgot to pack something,” notes co-owner, Stephanie Hughes. “I’ve been stranded at the airport and run out of formula. I’ve been at the Mall and had to run back out to my car with two kids and find the ‘emergency diaper’ stashed in the glove box.”

Currently the machines can be found at Maplewood Mall, Como Zoo, and Terminal 1, concourse C at the MSP Airport’s children’s play area but there is hope for a lot of expansion over the next year.

With just a swipe of your credit card, or cash, you can purchase products such as a Diaper Changing Kit by Pampers, a Gerber Baby Bottle, a NUK or Soothie Pacifier, Kleenex, Band-Aids and more. “We strive to provide many name brand products that parents know and trust,” says Jen Boog, co-owner.

For more information about Diaper Bag Basics, visit diaperbagbasics.com.



Parent tested



Local, all natural soda


The offices of Minnesota Parent were asked to try Joia, an all-natural soda made here in the Twin Cities. Free of any preservatives, caffeine, and sodium and featuring unique flavor combinations like Blackberry-Pomegranate-Ginger, we were impressed with the fruity, complex flavor that had just the perfect level of sweetness. Available at a boatload of our favorite local proprietors, including Lunds/Byerly’s, Kowalski’s, and a growing number of restaurants, we’re delighted to find a refreshing alternative to “diet brown.” About $6 per 4-pack, joialife.com



Prenatal and new parent classes at Amma

Becoming a parent can be one of the most joyous times in your life—and the most confusing. Amma Maternity offers free and paid classes this month on a variety of topics, including a class on expectant families with dogs; vaccines and the new family; and navigating the world of cloth diapers. Go to ammamaternity.com or visit its location in Edina in the Yorktown Mall (near Southdale) for more information. Amma Maternity offers a full menu of childbirth, breastfeeding, and baby classes for expectant parents and hope to provide parents with all the essentials for birth and life with their newborn.



Parent tested


Clean those cans


Certain people get awfully testy about the scent their garbage cans emit, especially when certain waste products (diapers!) are tossed into it week in and week out, then left to swelter in the hot sun. Your garbage purveyor will thank you for using BioWish’s Garbage Bin Wash—100% natural and non-toxic and safe to pour on grass, even. Just allow 10 minutes for the product to activate, splash it around the offensive container and odor is removed. Six single-use packets per box; $8 on amazon.com.