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6 Must-Have Products Made BY Moms FOR Moms You Can't Live Without

6 Must-Have Products Made BY Moms FOR Moms You Can't Live Without

Parenting is a tough gig.

These tiny humans we're raisin' didn't come with instructions.

What gives?

You know that old adage, “it takes a village”?

It rings true even today.

Your village may look different than it did for parents long ago, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t every bit as relevant.

Now, we get to harness the power of technology.

We can find our people in online communities. We’re not limited to just neighbors, coworkers, and those in our local playgroup. We can have basically anything we need dropped at our doorstep with a few taps on our phone. We can keep in touch with friends and family far away through text, calls, and video chat. We’re always connected.

Something else that technology affords us?

The collective genius of other moms.

Moms are fantastic problem-solvers.

We see a need. We fill it.

So, to make your life easier, we’ve rounded up 6 awesome products you need TODAY.

These gems are made BY moms FOR moms.

And each one solves a problem you’ve likely been dealing with on a near-daily basis.

Even better, every one of these companies has MORE genius products that make life easier as well!  We've linked to all of the websites so you can check them out.

Let’s get started.

7 Must-Have Products Made BY Moms FOR Moms You Can’t Live Without

1. Busy Baby Mat

Does your little one constantly drop toys from the high chair?

If so, you aren’t alone. This is a problem every mom faces at one point or another.

We strap our little one in the high chair and hand them a few toys in hopes of cooking dinner, making a quick phone call, or mopping the floor without crawlers underfoot.

What really happens? We end up playing fetch.

And the more we pick up what our babies throw down, the funnier they think it is — meaning the more they throw their toys on the floor.

It’s a no-win situation.

That’s where the Busy Baby Mat comes in.

Made of food-grade silicone, it contains no lead, phthalates, BPA, BPS, or PVC (i.e. it’s safe for curious teethers!).

It attaches to any smooth surface with four sturdy suction cups and it has durable silicone straps that hold toys securely in place — no more fetch for mom!

The Busy Baby Mat is made for more than play though.

It also does double duty as a clean surface for baby’s food, particularly when eating out.

You never know what germs — or toxic cleaners — are lurking on restaurant tables.

To top it off, the Busy Baby Mat is ultra-portable and dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

2. ScruBEE

Hand hygiene is more important now than ever before.

Except, getting kids to wash hands — erm, thoroughly — can be a challenge.

Enter, ScruBEE.

This nifty gadget is just what you need in every bathroom (and one in the diaper bag too!)

Its ergonomic design fits perfectly into tiny hands. It’s made from silicone and free of harmful chemicals. And it’s dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

The ScruBEE is an inexpensive and compact tool that was created to help kids learn to wash their hands both thoroughly and independently.

But, because of its intelligent design, moms have figured out that it comes in handy for far more than teaching kids to wash up properly.

It also works in place of a loofah at bathtime, as an upgrade to your daily face cleansing routine, and as a hygienic alternative to germy sponges for dishwashing,

Best of all? Because of its low cost, this multipurpose product is a no-brainer!

3. Buckle Me Baby Coats

Car seat safety — a concern for every parent.

Of course, we all want our little ones safe as we take them to and fro.

But, what happens when the seasons change and the weather gets cold?

Every mom’s conundrum — how to keep your child warm AND safe in their seat.

We’re faced with the choice of putting our child in a heavy coat and having to loosen the straps to buckle them in (hint: not safe!).

Or bundling them up, only to unbundle them to strap them in, and bundle them back up when you get where you’re going.

Some moms have come up with creative fixes to this problem by keeping blankets in the car or buying car seat ponchos — hooded blankets made for the car seat.

The problem with those solutions is simply this: they’re cumbersome and, at times, compromise your child’s safety.

So, what’s the answer?

Buckle Me Baby Coats, of course.

It’s right there in the name — these coats (not just for babies, by the way!) give you the best of both worlds.
Warmth AND car seat safety.
Their ingenious design allows for warmth in all the right places and no bulk — meaning perfectly safe for car seats.
And they weren’t JUST made for car seats.
Buckle Me Baby Coats were designed to be worn outside the car too.
There isn’t really anything else like them on the market — these coats need to be a staple in your child’s winter wardrobe every.single.year. 
Since it's summer, it may not seem like the right time to buy a winter coat, but the cutest patterns sell out every year so jumping in on the pre-order isn't a bad idea!

4. Unbuckle Me

Do you have a hard time getting your child out quickly in the carpool line?

If they aren’t independently able to unbuckle their car seat straps, the answer is probably yes.

Quite frankly, it’s a pretty widespread problem.

Car seat buckles are anything but easy.

Did you know that it takes 9 lbs of pressure to unbuckle a child’s car seat?

Yes, you read that right.

No wonder it’s so hard for kids (and adults, let’s be real!).

If you’re looking for a straightforward, inexpensive fix to this everyday parenting struggle, Unbuckle Me is your answer.

This is a simple tool designed by a mom AND car seat technician that can be stored right there where you need it — in the car — and used by anyone needing a little extra help with difficult buckles.

Unbuckle Me is also great for those with arthritis or any condition causing hand pain or limited mobility.

Using basic physics, it works as a lever to provide the force needed to unbuckle a child’s car seat so you don’t have to.

Every single parent needs one of these in the car — you never know when it’s gonna come in handy.

5. Snoofy Bee

Changing your child’s diaper in public — every parent’s favorite thing.

Hmmm...we think not.

What is it about changing your child in a public space that makes it such an unpleasant task?

For starters, let’s talk about the lack of a proper changing table in so many places.

They’re just NOW finally getting the fact that dads can change diapers too and putting changing tables in men’s rooms.

But, there are still plenty of places that don’t have a changing table at all. Or, if they do, the straps are broken.

Or the table looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in months.

Where does that leave us?

Trying to change our babies in the car, in the stroller, in our laps, or laying a blanket on the dirty bathroom floor and hoping for the best.

That’s where Snoofy Bee comes in.

They’ve set out to fix this frustrating problem by creating not only a changing pad — but a better changing pad.

The Snoofy Bee changing pad has all kinds of upgrades from the standard diaper bag staple — so many that we can’t list them all here, but we’re sure gonna try!

One of the coolest features the Snoofy Bee changing pad comes with is a barrier that keeps your kids from sticking their hands into a wet or dirty diaper.

Best part? It’s removable and able to attach to your changing table at home too. This deluxe changing pad also comes with padding so your little one is comfy as can be, a waterproof exterior that’s easy to clean and disinfect, and a storage pocket to keep diapering essentials handy (thus eliminating the need for a bulky diaper bag for short jaunts out of the house!).

The Snoofy Bee makes a perfect addition to any mom’s baby registry (and the perfect baby shower gift to give to friends!).

6. Curious Baby Activity Cards

Babies are confusing creatures.

Cute and cuddly, sure — but there’s so much to know and understand about their growth and development.

It can feel really overwhelming at times.

You’ve read all the books, but whoa...information overload.

Where do you start? Are there things you can do to encourage and support their development?

Sure there are!

But Pinterest is a black hole that will leave you scrolling for days with a shopping list a mile long and no real plan.

That’s where Curious Baby Activity Cards come in.

They distilled the most important information regarding your baby’s development. They also put together tons of activities you can do with your baby — ages birth to 12 months. Then, they wrapped everything up together in a neat, little package that’s portable and easy to keep within reach.

Curious Baby Activity Cards are kept together on a ring clip, making them quick to flip through when you have a few minutes or need a little inspiration.

The very best part? These activities that encourage bonding with your baby were designed to be low-prep with no extra supplies needed.

That means no store runs — and in a worldwide pandemic when people are avoiding public places, that’s huge.

And it means you can spend intentional time with your baby working on exercises for growth and development during small pockets throughout your day — while your coffee brews each morning, while you’re getting them dressed and ready to head out the door, or while the water boils for dinner.

No muss, no fuss.

Just a whole lot of value in a deceptively small package — wayyyyy better than any book.

The Wrap-Up

There you have it — 6 must-have products designed BY moms FOR moms.

Like we said above, moms are the very best problem-solvers.

See a problem, find a fix — and thank goodness these moms did.

Be sure to check out these products and share this list with your friends!

Removing Food Stains from Your Busy Baby Mat

Removing Food Stains from Your Busy Baby Mat

What is food-grade silicone?

As parents, we’re saving the world, one diaper at a time. But we also face lots of pressure to save the environment and we’re given an assortment of sustainable baby products to choose from.

Whether we’re shopping for diapers, bibs, or bottles…we’re encouraged to be more conscious about the impact daily products have on the world and our baby’s health.

With environmental safety and health at the forefront, you’ll find that more products are being made of silicone. Silicone is a unique rubber that is used for a variety of consumer, health, and industrial applications. It’s often referred to as food-grade or medical grade, but both types of silicone offer the benefits of being non-toxic, durable, and versatile.

What’s the difference between these silicone types?

Each type of silicone has its own set of regulations set by the FDA; standards that overall support health, safety, and the environment.

Although their names are pretty much self-explanatory… “medical” grade silicone isn’t just used by your baby’s pediatrician. This type of silicone is made specifically for products and devices that are used inside or outside the body; such as implants, baby bottle nipples, menstrual cups, mouth guards, and more.

On the other hand, food-grade silicone isof courseused for products that meet food. 

Companies are finding new and innovative ways to use food-grade silicone for producing everything from cookware to Tupperware, to bibs, teethers, and even some breast pumps!

Not only is food-grade silicone safer, but it’s also extremely durable and lightweight. And we know it’s the perfect material for Busy Babies and Busy Moms alike.

While food-grade has a long list of benefits, there is one drawback. Using food-grade silicone with certain foods or ingredients can stain the material, sometimes permanently. 

What stains food-grade silicone mats?

Ironically enough…food can stain food-grade silicone! If your Busy Baby loves Italian or Indian food, you may have a little extra work ahead of you.

Any foods with tomato sauce, pesto, or turmeric can cause stains; depending on the color of your mat. Oil and flavor residue can also remain on the mats surface if it isn’t thoroughly cleaned after use.

Now…if you’ve already planned spaghetti for dinner tonight, don’t ditch your mat just yet. All you’ll need to do is put a little extra elbow grease into cleaning it after dinner.

What’s the best way to remove stains from food-grade silicone mats? 

Lucky for you...we’ve already done the footwork and tested a few different cleaning solutions on the mat. (And yeswe tested all 6 colors!)

 

Although we LOVE Dawn Dish soap as a regular cleaning agent, it doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to removing stains on our food-grade silicone mat.

Instead, we found out that creating a paste of out of water (or hydrogen peroxide) and baking soda does the trick.

And to top it off, creating your own cleaning mixture at home saves you money and is actually pretty simple!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Grab a bowl for mixing
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide and baking soda to create a thick paste. We recommend using twice as much baking soda, as there is liquid. If the paste isn’t getting thick, add a little more baking soda to make it thicker.
  3. Once your paste is at a good consistency, rub it on the mat and let it soak for 10-20 minutes (the longer the better!)
  4. Rinse the mat off under hot water and let your mat air dry

If you’re still seeing stains on your mat afterward, simply rinse and repeat, but let the paste sit longer.  

 

The results are in! 

We’ve tested several different stain-causing foods on every color of our mat and found that most stains came out after following the steps above.

 Here’s what happened when we tried cleaning each color with the baking soda paste:

  • Yellow & Pewter – ALL the stains were easily removed
  • Pink, Spearmint, & Blue – The turmeric stains remained, but all others were removed
  • “OG” Orange – The orange mat never stained, no matter what we put on it. So, we’ve secretly named this our “OG” mat.

Moral of the story… turmeric stains are the hardest to remove. So, you may want to skip this ingredient in your next recipe OR grab an orange mat if you can’t resist it!

Does your baby have a favorite food that always stains their mat? Or do you have another cool way to clean your mat at home? 

Share your recipes and your cleaning success stories with us on Instagram @busybabymat! 

 

Protecting Your Busy Baby (& their mat) Against Harsh Surface Cleaners

Protecting Your Busy Baby (& their mat) Against Harsh Surface Cleaners

The Wild, Wild, West of COVID Cleaners 

Our job as parents is to do the best we can at protecting our little ones from a world full of germs. And that job has gotten a lot tougher following the onset of the coronavirus. 

Now, those harmless moments of watching our babies eat off the floor or play with random household objects are filled with a lot more caution. 

We think it’s safe to say that parents worry about germs ALL the time now. 

And while we know all germs aren’t created equal, living during a pandemic has significantly increased the need for parents to protect their babies from deadly coronavirus germs.

As we learn more about the coronavirus, and what to do to protect our family against exposure, parents are no longer confined to keeping their littles safe at home. Venturing out to grab food or a few rays of sunshine outdoors is safe, as long as you practice physical distancing of course!

With state and local guidelines developing around health and safety, many businesses have been allowed to reopen; giving parents even more options for activities during their day. 

Restaurant owners are leading the pack in finding new and creative ways to operate safely and dining in is becoming popular; amongst other activities. 

With restaurant owners increasing their efforts to clean and sanitize seating areas, they must also find ways to cut costs. However, these savings often come at a price and many businesses are purchasing cleaners in bulk to keep up with new safety standards.  

According to the FDA (Food & Drug Administration), restaurants in operation must frequently disinfect surfaces repeatedly touched by employees or customers. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) also offers an extensive list of acceptable cleaners to disinfect surfaces of the coronavirus pathogens. However, the list does not describe the impact these chemicals have on anyone who comes into contact with them.

Just like germs, all cleaners are not created equal. 

While upping your cleaning game is never a bad idea, it’s important to realize that if you’re eating out, we’re living in the wild wild west of surface cleaners.

 

Even surface cleaners that have been approved by the EPA may cause adverse effects on your baby’s health if they come into contact with lingering chemicals. Ingredients like phenolic, quaternary ammonium, sodium hypochlorite, and many others are chemicals that appear frequently on the list of acceptable surface cleaners for restaurants to use. 

Though the EPA has deemed these chemicals as “safe” to use for cleaning, they can still cause adverse reactions. Irritation of the eyes, skin, and the respiratory tract has been commonly associated with overexposure to surface cleaners. Be sure to keep a layer of protection between the surface and your baby!

Not only are the effects of these chemicals questionable, but they can also leave a film behind on your mat. This film may or may not be visible and can prevent the mats suctions from sticking to surfaces. In fact, we’ve found that as cleaning measures increase across the globe, so have reports of our Busy Baby mat not sticking to surfaces.

But don’t worry, because we’ve figured it out.

 After talking with some of our Busy Baby moms, they’ve shared that the mat sticks well before it’s used on public surfaces that have been disinfected. And to take it a little further, we’ tested this out on our own.  

Should I Clean My Mat After Each Use?

Yes! Since our mat is made of food-grade silicone, it naturally attracts crumbs, dust, and lint. This is a feature of all food-grade silicone products. 

It’s important to always clean your mat after each usefront & back

It’s no secret our mats provide an added layer of protection between baby and any questionable surface. Many parents have shared that our Busy Baby Mat gives them peace of mind in their fight against germs

But we’re also finding that our mat has trouble sticking to surfaces that have been cleaned with harsh chemicals.

Now that surface cleaners are being used more frequently, using your mat on a public surface is another big reason to clean your mat after use. Many surface cleaners approved by the EPA leave a film of residue behind, preventing the mats suctions from sticking. This same film stays on the mat after use and can prevent it from sticking to other surfaces in the future. 

While we don’t know the exact chemical that is causing the issue, we do know that the mat always sticks better when it's clean. 

 

What Should I Use to Clean my Mat?

As we mentioned before...all cleaners are NOT created equal. And water and soap usually do the trick. But we also know that soap and water don’t always remove the film that strong surface cleaners leave behind. 

After putting our mat to the test, here’s what we found when trying to remove this pesky chemical film...

  1. The cleaning process should start before you place your mat down, especially if you’re out in public. Wipe down the surface with a baby wipe or Clorox wipe before using the mat to avoid the film altogether. (Alcohol wipes work too!)
  2. Don’t use sanitizers that include methanol. This is a deadly chemical that was recently found in a long list of hand sanitizers currently being recalled. Hand sanitizers that do not include methanol may be used to clean the mat. 
  3. Once you get home, wash the mat with Dawn dish soap and hot water
  4. If your mat still has issues sticking afterward, we suggest making a paste out of water (or hydrogen peroxide) and baking soda to clean the film off the mat. To do this, you’ll want to create a thick paste made up of one part liquid and two parts baking soda. (If the paste isn’t thick, you can add a little more baking soda to make it thicker.) Once you’ve got your paste ready, rub the mixture all over the bottom of the mat and let the paste soak for 10-20 minutes before rinsing it off. Making a paste with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will work even better!

 

How Else Can I Get the Mat to Suck Better?

Who doesn’t love a Busy Baby Mat that sucks? We do and we know you do too! So no matter where you’re using the mat, keep these tips in mind to get the best suction.

  1. The surface and the bottom of the mat must be clean.  Any crumbs, dust, lint, etc will make the mats suctions less 'sucky'. The nature of food-grade silicone is to attract dust and lint. (If we used the additive that would repel those things, it would no longer be food-safe.)
  2. The surface has to be smooth.  Some tables and trays have texture to them, which also makes the suction less 'sucky'.  
  3. Make sure the squiggly end of the tether is plugged into the mat.  The squiggles help take some of the direct pressure off of the suction cup when the baby is tugging. 
  4. Place the tray away from your baby. The attachment points on the top of the mat are angled so that when the tethers are pulled at an angle, it’s less likely to break the suction. If you have the tray close to the baby's belly, it will be easier for them to pull it up.

As we find more ways to stay healthy and safe during these unparalleled times, we’re glad to be a part of the solution in protecting your baby against germs. 

Are there other ways you like to clean your mat? Tag us on Instagram @busybabymat and show us how you clean yours!










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