Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review: SproutBaby Holiday Gift Set

Simple. Safe. Responsible. Three adjectives to describe my favorite environmentally-friendly company, In case you haven't heard, Sprout Baby is a one-stop shop where you can find safe, healthy, eco-conscious products for your family. They carry everything from organic, gourmet baby food (made by celebrity chef and dad Tyler Florence - read my review here!) to toys, diapering and home goods. They extensively research each brand that they carry so you can trust Sprout Baby to bring you only the safest alternatives available.

I recently had the opportunity to review a Holiday Gift Set, including a variety of Sprout Baby products.

Episencial is the very first company to develop an all-natural and sustainable skin care line. Each product is inspired by Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, containing fruits mentioned from the story. I was sent the Better Body Butter (ARV $9.99), which is petroleum-free, paraben-free, SLS and phthalate-free and features:
  • Organic olive oil, shea butter, and sunflower seed oil to restore natural skin lipids. Helps prevent cradle cap and scaly skin.
  • Organic lavender and geranium oils to sooth and calm the skin.
  • Calming oat extract also boosts skin immunity.
  • Organic jojoba and avocado oils to help replenish essential fatty acid levels for proper hydration.
My family and I have been using this lotion for about a week now and we all love it! It is silky smooth and so moisturizing. It really quenches my dry skin after shaving. Since it is fragrance-free, you could easily pair it with perfume or body spray. Nate has mild to moderate eczema so I have to be very careful about what I put on his skin. Traditional baby lotion tends to irritate him and cause the red, scaly patches to flare up. Not to mention the questionable ingredients in the more popular produts. I was relieved to see that this lotion contained no harmful ingredients and the natural, organic formula could be used safely on the whole family. We use it everyday after bathtime and Nate's eczema has been under wraps ever since. This is definitely a keeper!

I was also sent a 2 oz. sample of BabyGanics "The Grime Fighter" All-Purpose Cleaner (ARV $6.99/32 oz.). Developed by two dads who wanted safe, effective home-cleaning products for their family as well as the environment, BabyGanics is tough on dirt but gentle for babies. Using plant-based cleaning agents, The Grime Fighter is perfect for the high chair, changing table, crib, counter tops, wood floors (where baby crawls!), and more.

Typically, I've used Clorox or Lysol wipes to clean around the house. I have been searching for a "greener" option and BabyGanics fits the bill. I love the unscented option since I grow tired of a citrus or flowery-smelling kitchen. I just want it smell clean! I found that The Grime Fighter worked best on mild to moderately dirty surfaces, as opposed to super greasy or messy surfaces (like after my husband cooks!). Or perhaps I'm just used to the results of the harsh chemicals and need to reset my expectations. But I personally don't mind a little more elbow grease for a crunchier product! Mostly, I've used this all-purpose cleaner on the high chair cover and tray, laminated changing mat, and portable placemat. But I have also used it on plastic and vinyl toys and household furniture as well. It does cling to those small particles of dirt and food and is easy to wipe up with a paper towel or sponge. I feel good using a product that is safe for my toddler and good for the planet.

I was also sent a 1 oz. spray bottle of CleanWell All-Natural Hand Sanitizer (ARV $4.00). Made with Ingenium, a combination of essential plant oils proven to kill 99.99% of germs, CleanWell is 100% poison-free with no synthetic chemicals so it can be used safely with children. Fragrance and alcohol-free, Cleanwell is also cruelty-free (no animal testing!) and 100% biodegradable.

After hearing horror stories about babies ingesting hand sanitizer with fatal consequences, I searched high and low for a safer option. Coincidentally, I had just discovered CleanWell when I received this review opportunity. I love the compact size and "no mess" flip top, so I can throw it in my purse or the diaper bag without worrying that the contents will leak. I also like the spray as opposed to a pump or squeeze bottle, so older kids can use it independently without making an obscene mess. The only thing I didn't care for was the Citrus Herb scent. It smelled as if I had rolled around in my spice rack for a few hours. Not enticing. Hopefully, they will come out with an unscented version soon because I do love everything else about the product!

Last but not least, I was sent two samples of Nature Babycare Diapers to test out (ARV $11.99/count based on size). Nature Babycare Diapers are one-of-a-kind, eco-friendly disposable diapers. Yes, you read correctly - eco-friendly and disposable diapers in the same sentence! These award-winning diapers are chlorine-free and use absolutely NO plastic. The back sheet and distribution layer are 100% natural and there are no latex, fragrances, or TBT (tributyl tin). Oh, and the diapers come in 100 % compostable consumer packaging! What's not to like about this?

I should say I have debated switching to cloth diapers many times. When I was pregnant, I wanted cloth (who can resist those adorable prints!) but my husband did not and since I was a working mom-to-be at the time, I didn't want to burden grandmom or another childcare provider with the learning curve of cloth. When I became a SAHM in May, I thought about switching again but had grown used to the convenience of sposies and wasn't sure where to start in the cloth world. Fitteds? Prefolds? AIOs? OS? My head was spinning. And now that I've actually done the research, we are going to start potty training in 6 months, so sadly, the cost of building a supply would not really be worth it at this point. But I love that Nature Babycare is filling a gap in the market. Parents no longer have to feel guilty for using disposable diapers!

The green leaf print on the diaper was very neutral and cute, meshing with the "green" theme. They fit surprisingly well - no gaping or cinching. I didn't feel the diapers were as soft or flexible as the Luvs we currently use but they did absorb and contain messes just as well - which is most important. I think the price is a bit expensive since I can get almost triple the diapers for less cost with Luvs. There are also cloth diapers out there for not much more than $11.99 and you can reuse them, so that is more of a long-term bargain. But if you are looking for the convenience of cloth without the laundry, Nature Babycare is definitely the way to go.

If you need some last minute stocking-stuffers or if you are trying to "go green" in 2010, don't forget to visit for all your feeding, diapering and cleaning needs. They offer gift cards that can be emailed to a recipient so your present won't ever be late! And don't forget to use promo code "SBBL021" to get 15% off your first order!

And a huge thank you to Nicole at Sprout Baby for this review opportunity!

Disclaimer: I was sent the above products from Nicole at Sprout Baby to facilitate my candid review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. The opinions expressed in this review are purely my own. Your experience may differ.


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