Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Straw Sippy Cup Comparison

Why a straw cup instead of a "normal" sippy cup?  Sippy cups have been shown to promote tooth decay and create speech problems.  See this article here for more information.  I don't know exactly how true all of this is, but after doing some research I decided I didn't want to take that risk.  So, Sydney started with a straw cup around 4-5 months old.  What you decide to do is up to you, but I want to provide you with a comparison of some of the straw cups we have used and which ones work well and which ones don't!  I'll even include Amazon's price and link to the cups on Amazon (when I am able) so you can see other reviews or buy one :)

If you decide to go with a straw cup, the straw cleaner is a MUST!  I got mine from Mom4Life.

Our top pick:  Munchkin Straw Cup 10 oz - Insulated ($5.99) and non-insulated ($5.47 for 2 pack)

We really, really love the Insulated cup.  It is spill-proof without being difficult to drink from.  It will splatter some if shaken or thrown, but usually very little.  The straw is 2 pieces and is easy to clean, and the cup is top-rack dishwasher safe.  The slender design of this cup makes it very easy for little hands to hold and also allows it to fit in diaper bag pockets easily.  The non-insulated is very similar to the insulated and is also top-rack dishwasher safe.  Sydney loves to use it, but since it isn't insulated we use it mainly for water.  It has a slimmer middle to make for an even easier hold for little hands. 

2nd Pick:  Thermos Funtainer 12 oz- $15.99 (We bought ours at Academy Sports, but Target sells them also)

This cup was the first straw sippy Sydney was able to use because it has no leak-proof valve so the drink comes out easily.  The straw is 2 pieces and is very easy to clean.  The cup is top-rack dishwasher safe, but not recommended.  The only drawbacks to this one is that it is a little heavy (my 12 month old can carry it easily now)  and it isn't leak-proof.  However, Sydney has thrown it down and it only leaked a tiny bit so I don't see this as a huge problem.  We use this sippy a LOT when it is warm outside.  It keeps water super cool, much better than other cups.  The major plus to this cup is that Sydney can use it for several years (even as a pre-teen) because it isn't a sippy cup!

Gerber Cool Twisties Insulated Straw Cup - 9 oz - $3.95

This cup has been a good one for us now that Sydney is older.  It is pretty difficult to get any liquid out of, but that's because of the leak-proof valve.  We haven't had any trouble with this cup leaking!  The cup is top-rack dishwasher safe, and the straw is 2 pieces that are pretty easy to clean.  The straw does get some discoloration (Sydney likes to drink with food in her mouth...and green beans and squash turned the straw a funny color).  We haven't had any trouble with this cup breaking, but I've read other reviews saying that their toddler threw the cup and it broke.  It seems to be pretty easy for Sydney to hold and she can open and close this one by herself now.

Nuby 2 Handle 8 oz cup - $8.29

The first thing I loved about this cup was that it was squatty and had handles.  That's where the love ended for me.  This cup was so leak-proof it was next to impossible for Sydney to drink out of until she got the hang of drinking out of the other leak-proof straw cups.  By that time, she didn't really need the handles.  It is not insulated, so best used with juice or water.  The handles also mean it doesn't easily fit into a diaper bag pocket.  The straw is 2 pieces and easy to clean, but the valve portion is hard to squeeze back in place.  The cup is top-rack dishwasher safe.  We use this cup now because it is leak-proof and Sydney can open and close it on her own, but I wouldn't recommend it as a 1st cup. 

Playtex Baby Einstein Insulated Cup - 9 oz - $10.75

This is my least favorite cup that we have tried.  It doesn't leak when dropped, but the liquid tends to come up the straw (when open or closed).  I've checked and double-checked that the straw is in correctly and I can't figure out why this happens, but I've read reviews where other moms had similar problems.   It is insulated which is good for milk or hot days.  The straw is 2 pieces and easy to clean and assemble.  The cup is top-rack dishwasher safe.  

Monday, February 22, 2010


And the winner is...Amanda!  And since I am sometimes a distracted mom...I forgot to have you all leave your email address!  Sooo.....Amanda could you please leave a comment here or the facebook page and let me know your email address so that I can contact you!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

So Smart! DVD Review and Giveaway!

When I first came across the So Smart! website I was very impressed. They have separate product pages for 6 months+, 1 year+, and 3 years+. This helps a parent easily find a product to match the age range. They include the philosophy behind each set of products as well as activities to help parents maximize learning while watching the DVDs.
We recently received 2 DVDs from So Smart! Since my daughter is 1 year old, they sent “First-Word Stories: Outside” and “First-Word Stories: Pets” for me (and my daughter, of course) to review. The First-Word Stories start out with words, then move on to sentences, and finish as a story. They re-cap the words at the end of each segment. You can also put the DVD in a computer and print off activity pages to go along with the stories, which is a great learning aid that many children’s DVDs do not offer.

As soon as I started the “First-Word Stories: Outside” DVD, my daughter was up and dancing with the intro song which introduces the characters. There are 5 stories on each 30 minute DVD, so if you have a child that doesn’t sit still for very long or if you prefer your child not watch 30 minutes at a time, they can watch individual short stories. I enjoyed the slow-paced music and stories (made so that parents can interact with their children), but it just didn’t keep my daughters attention for very long; however, she would always come back to watch after a few minutes and generally seemed to enjoy the pictures and stories. I liked the fact that the DVD used normal, everyday words and sentences.

I think these are great learning DVDs, though maybe for a child slightly over 1 year.  These DVDs are GREAT for calm-down times (like before naptime or bedtime). After Sydney finished watching the DVD she was ready to cuddle up and take a nap!  I think it's great that these DVDs don't over-stimulate the child. 

AND GUESS WHAT? So Smart has graciously offered one lucky winner their choice of a DVD from their website!   The contest is open to US & Canada only and will end Monday, February 22, at Noon (central time zone).

To enter:
(1) Become a fan of So Mommy on Facebook or Follow my blog
(2) Become a fan of So Smart on Facebook
(3) Tell me which DVD you think your child would enjoy the most from So Smart!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We have a WINNER!! chose comment number 5....sooo Congratulations Kelly! I'll be contacting you to get your information soon :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mom’s Bible: God’s Wisdom for Mothers & GIVEAWAY

I recently received the ‘Mom’s Bible: God’s Wisdom for Mothers” from Thomas Nelson Publishing. The bible is written in NCV (New Century Version) and is a companion bible with helpful commentary such as subheadings and footnotes. It even includes a “Frequently Asked Questions” section in the back geared toward the questions children normally ask their parents.

When first reading though Philippians (my favorite book of the bible), it didn’t seem much different than the New International Version to me. It was very easy for me to read and understand. I really enjoyed the introduction commentary before each book of the bible. It was very helpful to me in understanding where the writer was coming from. The footnotes and insights were a great addition for studying the bible. They were geared toward mom’s and their problems and worries and such, which I found helpful and interesting.

The “Frequently Asked Questions” section immediately caught my husband’s eye when he picked up the bible. He started reading through them and said that they helped answer some questions he has always had. I started reading through them, and they are definitely questions I have asked or heard other kids ask at some point in their lives. The questions range from, “How did we get the bible if it was written so long ago?” to “Did Jesus go to school?” The answers refer back to scripture and give pretty good answers. I enjoyed reading through them so hopefully I will be prepared when my little one starts asking these questions.

I really enjoyed this bible as a study bible, and my favorite part was definitely the FAQs in the back of the bible. I think this bible would make a great gift to a mom in your life!

Now to the giveaway!  One lucky winner will win a copy of the Mom's Bible!  All you have to do is become a fan of So Mommy! on Facebook or follow the blog! Easy, right?  Then make sure to comment on the blog and tell me that you did it (please leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win).  The contest will end Wednesday (tomorrow) at Noon (central time).  Good Luck!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Parents Mom and Baby Fitness 2-DVD Deluxe Edition

The Mom and Baby Fitness Deluxe Edition includes 2 DVDs; one for use with a young baby and one for use with a toddler. You can watch it start to finish or you can do the 3 mini workouts separately. For parents, it tones arms, thighs, rear, and abs, burns calories, and promotes bonding with your baby / toddler. For the babies and toddlers, it encourages strength and flexibility and improves balance and coordination.

The first time Sydney and I worked out with this DVD I laughed. I didn’t think it was going to give me any kind of workout. There are 3 parents with their children to show you how to do the exercises, and the DVD starts out kind of slow. I quickly realized that even a slow-paced workout is still a workout! They use yoga, Pilates, and stretching to help you tone and strengthen your body, and everything is focused around your child which is great. I enjoyed having a workout I could do and still feel like I was playing with Sydney. I have to say the next morning my lower body was definitely sore, and Sydney and I have continued to use this DVD to workout (Sydney has learned to copy my squats).

For those of you that work out on a regular basis or that like fast-past workouts, this DVD set is probably not for you; however, moms with young babies and moms that want something simple to help get their body back (like me!) will probably enjoy this DVD. If you have any more questions about this DVD set, feel free to ask!

Brainy Baby - Music: Discovering Musical Horizons DVD

I came across Brainy Baby because of a friend. I was told that Brainy Baby will give you a free DVD to try (you pay shipping-mine was $6.95). Since Sydney loves anything musical, I decided that the Brainy Baby Music DVD was the one I would choose. It is labeled for kids ages 2-5 and states that it will introduce your child to rhythm and tempo, melody and harmony, and musical instruments.

I assumed it was going to be similar to Baby Einstein (which Sydney still loves), but I was completely wrong. The Brainy Baby Music DVD is quite different. They sing a lot of songs and play a lot of different instruments. They go through a lot of musical terms and name the types of music (country, blues, etc.). Sydney really likes this DVD a lot! They have kids that sing and play the instruments, and it is pretty fast-paced to keep kids attention.

I have been very impressed with this company overall! The DVDs have been proven recently to promote learning in toddlers and I think most kids would enjoy the DVDs. I don’t think t.v. time should take the place of sitting down and playing / teaching your kids, but it’s nice to know your kids are watching something educational when they watch t.v. and Brainy Baby DVDs are good for that!

I highly recommend you take advantage of the free DVD from Brainy Baby, and while you’re there check out their clearance section (they usually have some great deals) and sign up for the newsletter. They send out emails about big sales (usually 60% off sales)!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

FLIP Cloth Diapers

When my daughter was first born a year ago, I laughed at the thought of cloth diapering! I thought it was great for the moms that could do it, but I never thought I could do it…of course, I was thinking about the “old” cloth diapering (wrap cloth around baby, pin together, and hope you don’t get leaked on). Then I read a post about cloth diapering on a blog I have been following (Mom4life) and it got me interested. I started doing some research and decided to give it a try.

But what to try? I had no idea! Then Heather at Mom4Life sent me an email about some new budget-friendly diapers from Cotton Babies (the maker of BumGenious). They are Flip cloth diapers. The day pack comes with 2 covers (they just added several new spring colors) and 6 stay-dry inserts. They also sell individually, but it is more cost-effective to buy a day pack.

The Flip diapers have snaps instead of Velcro, which comes in handy when washing (and also if your little one learns how to un-do Velcro). The many snaps can be a little confusing if you’ve never used them before, but the Flip diapers come with picture instructions for different size babies. The inserts simply lay inside the cover (tuck under flaps at the front and back), which makes changing a diaper pretty quick! When changing, simply toss the insert into your pail, wipe the inside of the cover, and place in a new insert. You can use the same cover several times!

The stay-dry inserts that come with the diapers worked great for Sydney! She didn’t even leak over her naps (which has been a problem even with disposables occasionally). You can also buy disposable inserts when traveling to make cloth diapering on-the-go easy. We also tried a regular pre-fold insert with our Flip diapers to see how well it would stay in place and we had no trouble with it either! These diapers are very slim as well, which allowed Sydney’s normal jeans to fit (we’ve had to go up a size in clothes for some cloth diapers).

We love these! The price is great for Mom’s on a budget and it is made by an already trusted company, Cotton Babies.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hermie & Friends: Antonio Meets His Match

Our family, my three-year-old daughter in particular, loves all of the Hermie DVDs by Max Lucado. I was recently given the opportunity (from Thomas Nelson Publishing) to review the latest in the Hermie series, ‘Antonio Meets His Match.’

Upon opening the DVD, my daughter was immediately thrilled and ready to watch it! We began movie, and even my 16 month old son sat through the entire show (which doesn’t happen often). Throughout the entire show, my daughter laughed and interacted with the characters, and, when it was finished, she wanted to watch it again. She would definitely recommend the movie!

While, I do enjoy the Hermie DVDs, as a mom, I am always hesitant to offer my recommendations on a movie that I myself have not watched in its entirety. However, I must say that I love the lesson that is so clearly taught through this cute story…”to love your neighbor as yourself “ (Luke 10:27). Antonio Ant is known as the bravest of the brave in the garden. He always wins the strength competition, but also uses his strength to often help his neighbors, too. When the garden becomes home to a group of Scottish ants, Angus being the main “new” character, Antonio is looked to for help in ridding the garden of these different (and quite annoying) new neighbors. But, when Antonio talks to God concerning his annoying new neighbor and the garden friends’ desire to have them gone, God answers by telling him that he should “love as I have loved you.” We see Hermie and friends learning what it means to truly love, despite differences.

The Bible truths are solid, the characters are loveable and funny, and the songs and music are great! I didn’t see anything in the movie that I would question. I would recommend this movie to anyone with younger children. It’s a great way to reinforce God’s command to love.
Thanks to Marsha at Desires of my Heart for reviewing this product!

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Diaper Bag

I received this Petunia Pickle Bottom bag from a friend right before my daughter, Sydney, was born. I immediately thought it was a super cute bag, girly but not overwhelming. My husband even said that he wouldn’t mind carrying it around (which he has done on several occasions). I get a lot of compliments on this diaper bag from other moms, which makes me feel great!

The Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Bag is pretty thin, considering how much I can stuff in it (I usually carry 5-10 diapers, wipes, 2 outfits, snacks, sippy cup, and a few toys). It comes with extra straps to make it a backpack (comes in handy at the zoo or park). It does have the messenger strap which fits over most stroller handles. It has 3 pockets inside (one is zippered and detachable) and 2 pockets outside (great for holding cups). It has a zippered outer pocket (has 2 pockets for diapers and wipes) and a detachable changing pad. The PPB website shows the many beautiful fabric choices. It is a very thick, sturdy bag and will sit upright with no trouble (which is nice to know if you carry cups / bottles).

The only problem I have is that it can be a pretty expensive item unless you’re willing to look around and wait for a good deal. Sometimes, they can be found at TJMaxx and Ross at a discounted price, but you can also find them online at places like Ebay or

Mimi’s Babies: Shopping cart cover

We’ve all seen the cute shopping cart / high chair covers that are sold in stores that basically cover the cart’s seat and handle or a highchair (we used the Original Floppy Seat and the Infantino Shop and Play). While these come in handy in different ways, they just weren’t exactly what I wanted them to be. The Floppy Seat folds into itself creating a bag, but when using it there are no places to attach toys, etc. to keep your little one busy. The Infantino one had toy attachments and even a pillow for the play mat, but it was a rectangle shape and didn’t cover the sides of the seat / chair.

Shortly after I started using these with my daughter, I came across a blog giving away a handmade shopping cart / highchair cover from
Mimi’s Babies. It was made using extremely cute (gender neutral) material, so I decided to enter the giveaway. A week later, I was notified that I won and I couldn’t wait to try it out!

It doesn’t fold into a bag like, but they can sew a ribbon to it so that you can fold it up and tie it. It has 2 links on it so that you can attach toys, pacifiers, etc. to it. It has Velcro on the back so that you can securely attach it to the shopping cart (which is nice if you have a wiggly baby) and also a hidden “mommy-pocket” for cards, money, keys or other small items. It has a safety belt like the other covers, but it has a slightly padded seat area for added comfort.

I absolutely LOVE this cover! It is a little more expensive than the Infantino Shop and Play and the Original Floppy Seat, but it is handmade and Mimi’s Babies can work with you to find a fabric you will love.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Peanut Shell Sling

When I first found out I was pregnant there was one thing I told my husband I absolutely HAD TO HAVE…a peanut shell sling. I found a Micro-Fleece Reversible one at Mom4Life that I really liked (plus they have free shipping in the U.S.) and so that’s what I got for Christmas before Sydney was born.

It comes with an instruction booklet and a link to go online to see more instructional pictures and videos. The videos are very, very helpful! I learned how to fold and wear my sling from them, or so I thought. The first time you try it with a real baby, it is a little complicated. I was nervous (this was my first baby) about how to hold her head, neck, and body while trying to slide her into the sling. I had to have a second set of hands the first couple of times I used the sling, but it got easier each time and after a few times, I was a pro at putting her in and taking her out.

When she was small, I used the cradle carry. A lot of people said she looked uncomfortable, but as her mom I knew she loved it. She would sleep through church, shopping, and pretty much anything else when I wore her this way. I enjoyed being able to use my hands and still save my back!

Now that Sydney is older (1 year, about 20 pounds) I use the hip carry a lot. It is still very comfortable to carry her, but I do sometimes have to adjust the fabric over my shoulder to balance the weight better. She still enjoys being carried in it as well.

I think this is a great product if you don’t mind trying it a few times before getting it right. It isn’t a hard product to use, but it can be a little tricky to get a newborn in and out comfortably. As much as I have used this sling, I just realized I have no pictures of Sydney in the sling. I will take a picture tomorrow and add it to this post for everyone to see!

Reviews, Reviews, and {hopefully} more Reviews!

Welcome to SoMommy! Where you can find reviews for products related to moms, babies, and toddlers. Feel free to comment and let me know your personal feelings on any of the products I discuss or to let me know about a product you would like me to try to review. Occasionally, I will have reviews from other moms about products they have tried.

Check back soon for my first review!