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Image from punypixel.com

Who says big change cannot start off small? We don’t believe that and neither does punypixel, a new clothing line just launched by a good friend of ours. punypixel starts with the premise that no step is to small, “no matter how puny”, so they are thinking big! punypixel’s primary mission is to help children around the world by partnering with organizations that help make a difference in children’s lives. With the launch of their line of super cool, socially and environmentally responsible kids clothing, they are taking their first step towards making this mission a reality. For their inaugural project, punypixel has teamed up with Cradles to Crayons. With every purchase you make punypixel will be helping to fund Cradles to Crayons’ mission of providing necessary essentials to homeless and low-income children.

Visit punypixel and help make a difference.

Way to go punypixel! We love the concept and all the PunyPixels, Leo, Irs, Sid, and Mike!

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Image from Nook Sleep Systems

As the waiting game continues, we decided we might as well keep slowly accumulating the items for our nursery, so that we do not have to buy everything all at once. Therefore, the next item on our list became a mattress. As part of our post placement study, once we are matched with a child, the social worker must visit our home to see that the baby has a proper place to sleep. So we decided to do a little research before jumping in and buying a mattress. We spoke to some friends that recently had babies to see what they would recommend. Some of the recommendations we received were as follows:

1. Buy something that is not too heavy, so that it is light enough to lift each time you have to change the sheets after there is an accident.

2. Buy something that is easy to clean, again because of the accidents.

3. Buy an organic mattress. Since infants spend most of their time sleeping, it’s worthwhile to consider investing in an organic mattress to ensure there are no issues of toxic off-gassing and if possible also try and get a mattress that is breathable, to ensure the baby gets a good air flow in their sleeping area.

Finally after doing a lot of online research and several trips to the store, we discovered the Nook Sleep Systems Pebble Mattress to be a pretty cool mattress option. Nook Sleep Systems is dedicated to innovation. They look at the entirety of the mattress to develop a cohesive holistic design. They have taken the time to make sure that their mattress is well designed, breathable, non-toxic and completely organic. The internal core of the mattress is made of natural latex which is an open celled material that maximizes air flow through the core (for breathability which will allow more oxygen to the baby, meaning a better night of sleep) and the natural latex is hypoallergenic, anti-microbial and anti-mites (no nasty bed bugs!). The inner core is wrapped with organic wool which is a natural fire barrier as opposed to the harsh chemicals used in standard mattresses. The surface is made up of eucalyptus fibers and cotton to help remove moisture and promote breathability, and the best part is that no vinyl mattress pads are required since liquids will bead on the surface of the mattress, and they come in cool bright colors as well! Nook Sleep System products are Made in North America (this time it’s for real, on manufacturer’s website!) and they even offer twin size mattresses. Hopefully, they’ll expand their line to include double, queen and king size for us adults to enjoy as well.

We are members of Zulily (an online designer discount store) and they had the Pebble Mattress on sale for half the price so we jumped to make the purchase. It’s quite an expensive mattress so if you are looking at purchasing it, we strongly recommend to see if you can find a great deal online.

Learn more about Nook Sleep System

Unfortunately we have a correction to make about our previous crib post. The Loom Crib is actually made in China. After publishing the blog we sent the link to the customer service representative we were speaking with at Nurseryworks and she informed us that the Loom Crib is not made in USA but in fact made in China. This was surprising to us since a few websites selling the crib listed it as Made in USA. So the lessen learned is don’t believe what online stores write about the products they are selling (peddling!) and make sure to ask the manufacturer.

However, now we have to decide if we can live with a crib made in China or find something else. A friend of ours found a good tip in the book “Baby Bargains” which basically said that 90% of baby furniture is made in China so if the furniture company is reputable then likely the furniture made in China will be fine. That being said there are companies that don’t use China to manufacture their furniture, for example Oeuf makes their cribs in Latvia. There are a few small percentage that still make their cribs in the USA and most of them are over $1000 price tag. El Greco cribs though, which are sold through Land of Nod, are made in the USA and definitely below the $1000 mark.

As for what we are going to do, we aren’t sure. We read through the safety data of Nurseryworks and they’ve never had any recalls on their products, they are doing their part for the environment, and the design is quite nice. We have not decided what we will do, so we thought we would put the question to you.

Image courtesy of so-ro cradle.

Earlier this year I attended the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York to take in the latest and greatest furniture products from around the world. After looking at hundreds of chairs, light fixtures, and tables, I came upon the most unexpected find. An amazing cradle designed not only to fit into any contemporary modernist aesthetic pallet, but designed primarily with the baby’s comfort in mind. Upon further discussion with the designer of the so-ro cradle, I realized that what made this cradle so unique was not just the beautifully crafted and designed cradle I saw on the floor of the exhibit hall, but also the amazing work that Ane Lillian Tveit has contributed in her dedication to the betterment of disabled children’s lives.

Ane Lillian Tveit was one of the designers featured in the Norwegian booth at the fair. When I first saw the cradle, I was immediately intrigued but I was not quite sure what it was. With its oblong design and sculptural quality,  I thought it looked like a cradle but it was unlike any cradle I had ever seen. Fortunately Ane Lillian, an occupational therapist by training, explained to me the theory behind her design. She said, “Babies love to rock” and I was a bit confused. So she went on to explain how different motions, when perceived by the baby, can create different effects on the baby’s comfort. For example, the forward rocking motion of a rocking chair can have a calming or soothing affect on the baby, while side ways or lateral motion can often cause dizziness or discomfort. The so-ro cradle is designed to rock in a forward motion similar to that of a rocking chair, unlike the sideways motion of typical cradles, providing the baby a soothing effect that helps them fall asleep. The cradle is also designed with safety in mind and made with natural materials. Additionally, it is also made to be easily assembled and disassembled for easy storage.

What is not easily apparent at foremost, is Ane’s other work, as an occupational therapist. Ane dedicates much of her work hours to help make better lives for disabled children in Moldova, Eastern Europe, often described as the poorest country in Europe. Her work there has helped countless children by improving their living conditions and by helping contribute to their integration in the Moldovan society. In 2011 Ane was awarded the Children of the Earth Prize for her extensive work in Moldova.

Learn more about so-ro cradle

See the video documentary of Ane Lillian Tveit’s work in Moldova. Please be advised the video can be quite emotional.

Click here to watch the documentary

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