Monday, November 22, 2010

Watch and Win: Free Clean-Up Kit 11/22 9PM ET



The Baby Guy NYC, Jamie Grayson, called the "Best Baby Gear Guru" by New York Magazine, is hosting a Twitter Party tonight, 11/22 from 9-10 PM ET (6-9 PT). Jamie will be presenting a "fun-filled romp through baby gear" on his Ustream Channel, shown above, and will move to Twitter to discuss the show and to answer any questions parents might have. Just be sure to follow the instructions below.

Why participate? FREE DAPPLE CLEAN-UP KITS to 7 randomly selected participants and great gear advice from the only male baby planner in the world.

Here is what you have to do to be eligible.

1. Follow Jamie at twitter.com/TheBabyGuyNYC
2. RSVP here
3. RT the #ThankfulBabyGuy hashtag when you see it
4. ACTIVELY participate in the discussion during the party!

Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grandparents Day Giveaway Pictures

During the month of September, Dapple held a giveaway in honor of Grandparents Day. We asked you to submit a picture of your child and the grandparent they look most like (or of you and your grandchild). The picture that we thought was the best look alike won a Dapple Clean-Up Kit. Here is the winning picture:


It was really hard to choose what would be the best lookalike. It's really incredible how much the grandchildren really look like their grandparents. We received many submissions and they were ALL AMAZING, not to mention cute. We just had to share them with you. Below are some of the pictures we received. Enjoy!






Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Little Builders


We’ve come a long way from the steel, industrial looking playgrounds of the days of yore. We’ve got bright colors, safety-conscious monkey bars, and a whole variety of jungle gym equipment. And yet, for all our modernization, these classic establishments seem to still lose out time and again to computers, TV, and video games – devices that have tons of entertainment packaged into one neat little box. It’s a shame, too, because we love playgrounds. We all know how important they are for our kids.

But the good news is, there may be hope yet. It seems like playgrounds have decided to take a stab at the “neat little box” business themselves. Meet the Imagination Playground, a playground that is, essentially, a box. This box holds biodegradable blue foam blocks that can be assembled to create any conceivable play structure. Designed by David Rockwell, he hopes that such a distinctly unstructured park will encourage greater levels of creative play and, well, imagination.
http://www.imaginationplayground.org/photos/

So, are playgrounds making a comeback? Can this new sort of box brings kids back to the parks, back to fresh air, free-spiritedness, sharing swings, waiting patiently for the slide, playing tag and chatting with peers? We hope so, because playgrounds have been underrated for way too long.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Picky Eaters

If you missed our latest newsletter, don't worry, here are some tips for parents of picky eaters from the Dapple moms and our Facebook fans. To view the newsletter in it's entirety click here.


The Dapple Dish: July 2010
Play With Your Food

Play With Your Food

Picky Eater?

Here are some tricks developed by the Dapple moms.

Bananas: Instead of peeling the banana and giving it to them, cut it into coins with the peel still on each coin. Let kids peel each "banana candy" individually. They will have so much fun and forget that they are eating something healthy. Use organic bananas because you are cutting into the peel.

Twister
: Make separate bowls of red, yellow, green and blue veggies and fruits (we use yellow peppers, green beans, cherry tomatoes sliced in half and blueberries). Put a Twister spinning wheel in the middle of the table. Everyone take a turn spinning. Whatever color you land on, eat the fruit/veggie of that color.

Make Your Own: Let your kids choose which fruits to include in their smoothie and let them help you blend all the ingredients, they will love pressing the buttons. If veggies are on the menu, let them pick their favorite veggies to include in their salad, they will like the salad much more when they are the ones making it.

Here are some tips from our Facebook Fans:


Jennifer L. : "My daughter will not eat vegetables, so I give her the fruit/vegetable juice a couple times a day. I mix it half & half water. There are a few different brands that I know of....V8 V Fusion, Juicy Juice Harvest Surprise, and Mott`s Medleys."

Becky G. : "Pick-your-own places are great! We went cherry picking today and the kids are so excited."

Sima R. : "For every four bites of unwanted vegetable, let your kid have one spoonful of marshmallow fluff."

Julie B. : "We give our two-year-old son two gummy bears if he finishes his dinner. One of the gummy bears is a vitamin so I don't feel too bad about it."


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dapple + Born Free: What It Means


Dapple has teamed up with Born Free.

Makes perfect sense if you think about it.

Born Free was founded in 2006 by three concerned fathers, and has revolutionized the baby product industry in North America with its insistence on BPA-free materials.

Dapple was “born” in much the same way. Two moms, Dana and Tamar, concerned about using chemicals on the very things that went right back into their babies’ mouths set out in search of the safest possible formulas that would, at the same time, really work on baby’s stuff : no more stale milk odors in baby bottles, sticky fingerprints on toys, or spit-up stains on … well, everything.

Babies have a right to BPA free plastics and they also have a right to cleaners without toxins, phthalates, parabens, SLES, artificial fragrances or dyes.

What does the partnership mean for you? As parents, you will be seeing many joint Dapple and Born Free promotions on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Born Free and Dapple blogs. Dapple is now available on the Born Free website. If you are in Canada, you will soon see Dapple samples in Born Free bottle brushes and gift packs at most major retailers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Baby Steps

This past pre-Memorial Day Friday, the Dapple Team handed out samples to moms and dads getting in some baby shopping before the long weekend at the Babies 'R Us Union Square in NYC. Some babies even came along to let mom and dad know exactly what they wanted. The cutie in this video had no interest in shopping though, only having fun with mommy.

video video

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why Green?

video video
Last Friday, the Dapple team was handing out samples and helping spread the word about the importance of cleaning green around kids at the Babies 'R Us Union Square in New York City, when we had an idea. Instead of Dapple telling people why it is so important to clean green around children, why not have the parents and other customers tell us why they think it is so critical. The above videos are the result of our research.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lemonade!


If regular 'ol lemonade just won't do, check out these two recipes that will definitely excite. Let your kids squeeze and press for delicious fun and a great time!!!!

Organic Raspberry Lemonade
  • Mash 1 cup rinsed fresh raspberries (6 oz.) with 2/3 cup of organic unrefined sugar
  • Let stand 10 minutes
  • Press through a fine strainer into a pitcher and discard seeds
  • Stir in 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from organic lemons and 2 cups water
  • Pour into ice-filled glasses
  • Enjoy!!!!!
Organic Kiwi Lemonade
  • Peel 6 organic kiwi’s and puree in blender
  • Strain mixture through fine strainer and discard seeds
  • Combine 1 cup organic unrefined sugar and ¾ cup freshly squeezed organic lemon juice in a large pitcher
  • Stir in strained kiwi
  • Add 1 liter ice water
  • Enjoy!!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Natural Story



"Getting to know your neighbors" is how we described Abe's Market back in September. In this case your neighbors are entrepreneurs and their children are their products. Abe's is bringing the mom and pop experience to e-shopping by offering "remarkable natural products" of all kinds,with the story of the people and the personalities behind them.

Dapple is available at Abe's along with Dana and Tamar's story. In the above video, our fellow eco-entrepreneurs share the stories behind their brands. What inspired them, what they gave up, and what advice they have for others to follow their dreams. It is an uplifting, beautiful clip. It might even make you want to have "children" of your own.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spotted! Damon Dash, a Pink Bugaboo, and Dapple!


The Dapple team was handing out samples in New York City yesterday when they came across a hip-hop mogul pushing a pink Bugaboo. A sample was promptly given. We Dappled Damon Dash! We had a chance to speak to the baby's nanny, who said that the family had gotten Dapple as a gift and that they love the Toy Spray! See that in his left hand...... that is Damon Dash going green for baby!!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ana Ortiz Goes Green & Clean With Dapple!



Ana isn't the only celebrity mom who is green for baby. According to She Knows.com, "when Nicole Richie and Joel Madden launched their Richie-Madden Children's Foundation" they presented mom's with organic items for babies, including organic cleaning products!

Sheryl Crow had an eco-friendly baby shower featuring email invites and botanical party favors, Jessica Alba bought organic crib sheets just before her daughter was born, and Julia Roberts feeds her children foods from her own organic garden!

What changes did you make to go green for baby? We would love to hear from you!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Scoop on Phthalates


Phthalates are a class of chemicals that are produced at extremely high volumes. Manufacturers typically use phthalates to increase the flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity of plastics. They are also used in personal care products such as hair spray and shampoo as a solvent.

According to the EPA
, phthalates “are used in medical applications and have been detected in food. A number of phthalates appear in bio-monitoring surveys of human tissues, evidencing widespread human exposure (CDC 2009).” This is just one example of how widespread phthalate exposure is in our environments.

There is a lot of discussion about the adverse effects of phthalates. The most common reason for avoiding phthalates is because exposure to phthalates has the potential to adversely affect the human reproductive system.

According to the EPA, “the reproductive developmental effects observed in humans include shortened anogenital distance observed in newborn boys; and shortened pregnancy, lower sex and thyroid hormones, and reduced sperm quality observed in adults.”It should be noted that exposure to Phthalates doesn’t just begin after birth, it begins in utero and continues throughout the course of your life. (EPA)

There has also recently been some press linking phthalates to a rise in autism among children. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/opinion/25kristof.html?ref=opinion

What does that mean for Baby?

Babies can have direct exposure to phthalates via toys, teethers, or other children’s products made of flexible PVC (plastic).

Luckily for us parents, a law was passed in 2008 that prohibits the sale of any children’s toy that contains 0.1 percent of" DEHP, DBP, or BBP (types of phtalates) as well as prohibits the sale of any children’s toy that can be placed in a child’s mouth or child care article that contains concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of" DINP, DIDP, DnOP (other phthalates).

How can you determine whether a product contains phthalates or not?

  • · As always, read the label! If a label contains any of the following abbreviations or chemical names, according to Pollution in People and The Daily Green, the product certainly contains phthalates.

  • “DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate) and DEP (diethyl phthalate) are often found in personal care products, including nail polishes, deodorants, perfumes and cologne, aftershave lotions, shampoos, hair gels and hand lotions. (BzBP, see below, is also in some personal care products.
  • DEHP (di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) is used in PVC plastics, including some medical devices.
  • BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate) is used in some flooring, car products and personal care products.
  • DMP (dimethyl phthalate) is used in insect repellent and some plastics.
  • The ingredient “Fragrance” might also be reason for concern as it is used to “denote a combination of compounds, possibly including phthalates.”
  • Always choose plastics with the recycling code 1,2 or 5. Recycling codes 3 and 7 are more likely to contain bisphenol A or phtalates.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dapple's Favorite Children's Books!



Green Eggs and Ham, Goodnight Moon, Madeline, these are all classics that we enjoyed as children and that our kids today still love. These books might be great for children who are a little older and can understand the words, or at least the pictures, but should we be reading books to our babies too?

The medical advisory board at Baby Center says a very enthusiastic, YES!!

"The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading aloud daily to your baby starting at 6 months of age — about the time when he'll really begin to enjoy looking at books with you. But Jim Trelease, longtime read-aloud expert and author of the Read Aloud Handbook, says that you can start when your child's a newborn. No matter what your baby's age, of course, reading provides a great opportunity for cuddling and bonding."

Not only is reading to your baby a great bonding experience, it also helps with their growth and development! According to Baby Center "Studies have shown that language skills — and even intelligence — are related to how many words an infant hears each day!"

Growth and development and cuddling and bonding time gives us the perfect reason to read to our kids. The Dapple Moms have a few favorites (really their kid's favorites) that we would love to share with you!

Baby Books!
  • The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
  • We're Going on a Bearhunt by Michael Rosen
  • Too Many Toys by David Shannon
  • Jamberry by Bruce Degen
  • But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Toddler Books!
  • The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman and Marla Frazee
  • The Incredible Book-Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
  • Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore and LeUyen Pham
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • Thing-Thing by Cary Fagan and Nicolas Debon
  • Little Movers - Crane by Arlene Blanchard and Tony Wells
  • The Bears Picnic by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
What are your favorites? We want to hear from you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Paul McCartney!


Yesterday, Dapple user Miel K. was strolling the streets of London when she happened upon a singing knight. A singing knight? Yes.... Sir Paul McCartney!

Paul McCartney stopped walking and said:

"Wow, that is one cute baby!"

Miel gave Paul a huge smile.

"Babies always give me good vibrations!"

One of the most famous musicians in the world then proceeded to sing Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys to our little cutie.

All it takes is a smile!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pollen and Baby


With Spring right around the corner (March 20th) and warmer weather starting to creep in, the yearly ritual of runny noses and watery eyes more commonly known as allergies is almost upon us. We might run away from floating dandelion seeds but what about baby? Do babies get allergies? Should we check the pollen counts before taking them for a stroll?

According to Fit Pregnancy magazine, "allergies are relatively rare in children and even more so in infants. In fact, it takes several years of exposure for a child to develop a reaction to an allergen like pollen."

If you notice your baby with nasal symptoms that appear to be allergy-like, according to Fit Pregnancy, it is possibly a lingering cold.

"Nasal symptoms are very noticeable in infants because young babies are lying down most of the time, causing mucus to accumulate in the back of the nose. And even when awake, they don't clear their breathing passages by coughing, sneezing or swallowing, as someone who's older would. Finally, the tininess of a baby's nasal passages ensures that even a little blockage is clearly audible."

As a member of the Hay-Fever club myself, I am extremely happy that babies can enjoy spring time like it should be, without the tissues!

Read the whole article here: http://www.fitpregnancy.com/experts/question/40246857.html

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Baby Time!


If you missed our newsletter, we had some great tips for helping your baby adjust to the clock change. But need not fret, you could help baby transition smoothly and you can get more sleep by reading those same tips below!

Spring is almost here! Dapple has spring cleaning covered, but there are other baby matters that even our Toy Cleaner just won't fix. We might gain an hour of sunlight come March 14, but some babies have a hard time adjusting to the clock change. As moms we have encountered this problem every spring. So we here at Dapple turned to the experts for advice.

Dream Team Baby was founded by two sleep-deprived moms who worked with sleep specialists to create a proven approach, and now help parents and children everywhere get a good night’s rest! We knew these ladies would have some great insight for us about this topic. Here’s what they had to say...

If you have a more flexible sleeper:
  • On Saturday night, simply put your child to bed at their normal bedtime. No pregame adjustments necessary.
  • On Sunday morning, your child will likely wake up at the normal time - though the clock will read 1 hour later. In this case, use naptimes to help your child adjust to the new time. Put your little one down at his or her normal nap time(s). This may be a challenge the first day or two since it will feel an hour earlier to their little bodies. Help get them ready for this “new” nap time by getting plenty of fresh air during the day and introducing some fun, novel activities so your child is nice and tired by the end of the day.
  • If your child happens to wake a little earlier than usual on Sunday, allow them to get up and start the day - as long as it isn't more than an hour early. But expect that he or she may be a little overtired by naptime. Again, try to put your child down at the normal naptime(s) (according to the new clock) - but let him or her sleep a little extra if needed. 15-30 minutes is fine - just make sure to wake them up no more than 30 minutes late or they will not be ready to sleep at bedtime.
  • At the end of the first day (Sunday), try to help your child be dressed and ready for bed at the normal bedtime. If your child is not showing signs of being tired, it’s okay to make bedtime 15-30 minutes later (according to the new clock) and continue to refine the schedule the next day.
If you have a more “sensitive” or challenged sleeper:
  • On Saturday, use your child’s nap and bedtimes to help him or her pre-adjust to the new schedule in 15 or 30 minute increments. For instance, a 1-3 PM nap and 7 PM bedtime would turn into a 12:30-2:30 PM nap and a 6 or 6:15 PM bedtime. Doing this homework ahead of time will give your child a head start on Sunday’s change, and you will have a whole extra day of the weekend to perfect the schedule before going back to work on Monday.
Please remember that all children are different. Some may make the jump in time change seamlessly, and others may take a few days to fully adjust. Just be patient and it will all “spring” in to place!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SLS and SLES

It’s not an airline of some Scandinavian country. It’s not a new way of sending text messages. And it’s also not a "safety learning school."

So what exactly is SLS? And what is SLES? What’s the difference between them? And why are we making a big deal about them?

SLS (Sodium Lauryl sulfate) and SLES (Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate ) are surfactants – wetting agents that lower the surface tension of a liquid such as water, allowing for better penetration of the liquid and thus acting as primary cleaning agents in many formulations.

SLS and SLES are very commonly used in household products such as toothpaste, shampoo, bubble bath and all sorts of cleaners. They are also very often used in "natural" cleaning products since both SLS and SLES can be coconut derived.

So what’s the problem?

SLS is an irritant. According to the Journal of the American College of Toxicology, "studies at Georgia Medical College indicated that SLS kept young eyes from developing by possibly denaturing the proteins and not allowing for proper structural formation. This damage was permanent." The journal also states that "other research has indicated that SLS may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin." The article explains that "skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties."

In order to make SLS less irritating, it is often ethoxylated, resulting in the modified, far less irritating compound of SLES. Unfortunately, this process of ethoxylation, creates small amounts of the carcinogenic byproduct 1,4 dioxane – something we talked about in greater detail in a previous post on our blog.

How do you avoid SLS and SLES?
For starters, you should look at the ingredient list of the products you buy. You want to look for products that are free of SLS and SLES. Many natural cleaners do contain SLS or SLES – so you need to check natural products as well.

If you have a question regarding a certain product, you may want to try their customer support line, they are often very helpful. They should know what Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate are and can direct you as to whether their product contains either.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Parabens


Parabens are tricky. They are in some of our favorite products (including the most delicious baby shampoo on the market), they are mild preservatives that work incredibly well, and the scientific community is somewhat divided as to whether parabens, to the extent used in consumer products, pose a real danger to humans.

Still, for us at Dapple there is one clear and overriding mandate: Keep it Baby Safe. If there is even a small chance that an ingredient could prove dangerous for our babies or yours … we stay far away from it. So we formulated all our products without using parabens.

Here is some background information on parabens so you can make up your own mind:
Parabens are a class of chemicals that are widely used as preservatives in cosmetics and other personal care products. "Parabens inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds in personal-care products such as shampoos, conditioners, deodorants and sunscreens." (Chicago Tribune, 9/4/07)

Parabens are so commonly used that they appear in 25,000 of the cosmetics and skincare products documented by the Environmental Working Group!

Now, some studies have shown that parabens can mimic the activity of estrogen in the body's cells and estrogenic activity in the body is associated with certain forms of breast cancer. In a study conducted by the University of Reading, parabens were found in 18 of 20 breast cancer tumors studied. A recent Danish study showed that when parabens are applied as a cream to the backs of healthy male volunteers, the chemicals can be measured in the blood within hours. This demonstrate that parabens do penetrate the human skin intact. While there is no conclusive evidence that parabens cause cancer, and the FDA does not ban its usage, some of the research is disconcerting.

Here are some more articles about parabens and their possible consequences:

New Scientist

Web MD

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Chicago Tribune

Dr. Weil


Parabens are easy to spot on a label. They are listed as one of four indgredients: methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, or butylparaben.

If you have a question regarding a certain product, you may want to try their customer support line, they are often very helpful. They can direct you as to whether their product contains any parabens.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Helping Haiti



It’s amazing to see how the world is coming together to offer their expertise to the victims in Haiti. Dapple donated to Unicef. If you want to also you can do so here.
https://secure.unicefusa.org/site/Donation2?df_id=6680&6680.donation=form1

Thursday, January 7, 2010

1,4 Dioxane


So you know how we always talk about being “free of SLES, 1,4 dioxane, parabens, phthalates, dyes, etc…”

And you are probably thinking “Great. These things sound unsavory. Don’t want them around my kids. But what in the world are they anyhow?”

Over the next several weeks we will be posting a series of blogs about the different toxins and contaminants commonly found in household cleaners and cosmetics and how you can best protect your families from them. We will also be devoting a section of our site to information every parent should know about keeping a healthy, toxin-free home.

Let’s start with 1,4 dioxane.

What is 1,4 dioxane?

The carcinogen 1,4 dioxane can occur as a byproduct of a process called ethoxylation, during which various chemicals are processed with ethylene oxide to make them more soluble and, in the case of personal care products, to make them gentler on people’s skin. 1,4 dioxane is not to be confused with dioxins, a class of chemical contaminants found in soil and sediment and much lower levels found in air and water.

Why do I need to know about 1,4 dioxane?

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics recently published the following report on toxins in children’s care and bath products:

http://www.safecosmetics.org/downloads/NoMoreToxicTub_Mar09Report.pdf

It’s important reading. But it is 32 pages long. So we have summarized it for you.

In this report the CSC found that:

  • 67% percent of baby products tested were found to be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane
  • 1,4 dioxane is a“probable human carcinogen”
  • Here’s the tricky part: since 1,4 dioxane is a by-products and not an actual ingredients, manufacturers are not required to list it on labels

All this is true not only for cosmetics but for household cleaners as well – many of them labeled natural or organic. See http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/DioxaneResults08.cfm

So what can you do to steer clear of 1,4 dioxane?

  • Check Labels. If the label doesn’t specifically mention that the product is free of 1,4 dioxane, check the ingredient list
  • A common list of ingredients contaminated with 1,4 dioxane include: Peg-100 stearate, Sodium laureth sulfate, Polyethylene, Ceteareth-20.
  • Email Your Favorite Brands.Just check in to see if all of their products are clear of 1,4 dioxane
  • And stay tuned for further safety updates from your Dapple Team

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010: The Year To Give

Although the holidays are over, there are still many opportunities to give to children in need. Yael Weiss, a Dapple friend, gave something that CNN featured in its "Giving in Focus" series, and that Yael called "immensely rewarding."

Yael donated breast milk over the course of this past year to an organization called International Breast Milk Project, IBMP.

"They do amazing work in collecting, processing, and donating breast milk to infants in need, both in the U.S. and in Africa. It was an immensely rewarding process to be involved in and I wish more mothers knew about it because it was fairly easy to do. I volunteered to be interviewed by CNN when they chose to feature IBMP in a series called Giving in Focus. Please spread the word to any nursing mommies you know, it is a fantastic organization to support."