Monday, March 10, 2014

BFFL Co Mommy/Delivery BFFLBag

I was lucky enough recently to get the chance to review the BFFL Co Mommy/Delivery BFFLBag (LINK).  The company has recently been covered in Time magazine, on FOXNews, Huffington Post, and more, so I was really intrigued by their product line.  There is a reason they’ve been covered – co-founder Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, MD, MPH, has a pretty remarkable story.   She completed her residency in Radiation Oncology and has a Master’s in Public Health.  She devoted her career to helping those with cancer after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer – and has even been through a prophylactic double mastectomy and breast reconstruction because of that family history of cancer (think of what Angelina Jolie recently did, and why).  Her brave decisions and personal history, combined with her medical education, have given her a unique perspective on what’s needed during a hospital stay.  Using this wealth of information and experience, BFFL Co has an entire line of recovery products for different surgeries and medical conditions – including this innovative bag for new mothers to take to the hospital.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned in my previous posts that I’m currently pregnant, and am always going to be a high-risk pregnancy.  Our first daughter was born still at just 21.5 weeks, and I was on bedrest from 13.5 weeks on with our second daughter.  I have to have a hospital bag ready to go pretty much from the start of the second trimester on forward.  However, with a precocious 3.5-year-old tearing around the house, a full-time job, and trying to make time for my wonderful husband, I don’t have a ton of time to sit down and write out lists for months on end of what needs to go into my hospital bag.  Even if I did, I’d miss something, even having been through all of this before.

So, it’s safe to say I was really excited to see this bag.  I’m sort of a natural skeptic, however, so I was positive that I’d find something that was missing or needed adding.  I can’t think of a single thing missing from this bag.  I literally think you can just put your phone charger in here and head to the hospital.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves with uncharacteristic gushing from me, I’ll explain myself.

First things first – BFFL Co includes a designer bag to hold all of the goodies inside.  Much to my delight, this is an adorable bag.  It’s a bag you would actually want to use as a gym bag or an overnight bag after you’ve recovered from emitting a baby from your body by one method or another.  Then, inside, there’s just a TON of stuff.  There’s a heart-shaped Axilla Pilla comfort pillow (good for hugging when you’re trying to ride out a contraction, or for nursing support), flip flops (so you don’t have to pick up a foot fungus along with a newborn), a skin care gift set, Bio-Oil moisturing scar and stretch mark treatment oil, some nursing pads, perineal ice packs and disposable sleeves (if you don’t know why these are included, I don’t think I should be the one to explain it), a collapsible water bottle, some nursing pads (GENIUS, because everyone forgets these and then panic when their milk comes in), and then several separated packets.  These are organized ingeniously – one is for toiletries (including dry shampoo which is especially awesome for those post-op, lip balm, nail care set, tooth care, and more), a wound care/incision pack for if you had a C-section, a packet of fun entertainment stuff (playing cards, notebook, pen, slipper socks, cards, etc.), and a pack that is filled with mesh underwear, pads, and all of that fun stuff.  I skipped over a lot of little individual items in here (ear plugs, etc.) because it literally would take an entire paragraph just to list everything, it’s so chock-full (but packed into a convenient-sized bag).  I had assumed I’d need to add some of that little stuff like lip balm (to which I’m addicted) and nail clippers, but they’re all just right there.  I guess you could add a gown if you didn’t want to wear the hospital garb, but that’s really not a necessity, and those hospital gowns have snaps specifically useful for if you plan to breastfeed.

I know I don’t usually glow this much about a product, but I just really was impressed by how complete it is.  On top of all of that, 15% of the net profits from the purchase are donated to the Harvard School of Public Health Women’s and Health Initiative.  With all of this, not only am I glad that this is going to be going to the hospital with me, but I believe this will start being my go-to shower gift.  I can’t think of a single mom or type of delivery that wouldn’t benefit from this – and there’s even some room in it to take home the diapers that you paid 5x cost for from the hospital room!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cartoon Band-Aids

I have a love-hate relationship with cartoon characters on clothes and other items.  I don't really love them, especially on clothes that go out of the house, but they make Pickle SO happy that I will sometimes give up and just allow them.  If I can mitigate the saturation into something specific or small (a pair of snow boots, pajamas, etc.), I feel less like I'm parenting a walking Disney billboard.

I figured one fairly innocuous way to do this was to get character Band-Aids to keep around the house.  Everyone had the same idea with stocking stuffers, so we've got Band-Aids coming out our ears.  Princesses, Tinkerbell, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Monsters University, Mickey Mouse, and others - they're all living in our house.  I've tried to keep them in one spot in the house, a specific spot where all Band-Aids go that requires Mama or Daddy's help in order to access.  Not that Band-Aids are dangerous or anything, but it just seemed like a good thing to regulate.

We have literally four out of six of these boxes.

This started off great.  Band-Aids only went on valid boo-boos.  Over time, Pickle started embellishing certain injuries a little bit to try and score a sweet Band-Aid, so I'd play along on some of that.  I tried to keep the premise that these were just for when we get hurt, however.

...Until Christmas.  With all of the packages we got for Christmas, some of them got tucked around the house into hiding places.  Suddenly, all of the many, many of the toys that live in our house started getting into horrible accidents.  Luckily, these accidents didn't require stitches or anything - just five to ten Band-Aids for each animal.  This wasn't such a big deal for some of the toys, like dolls with hard faces/hands, or toys wearing clothes.  You just pull the Band-Aid off, and life is good. 

Some of the animals proved a little more problematic, however.  There were several stuffed animals with sort of fuzzy fur.  It wasn't even necessarily long fur, just fur.  Pickle didn't really discern onto what type of surface she was putting a Band-Aid, so we have about 10 stuffed animals with Hello Kitty Band-Aids stuck to them, possibly permanently.  Why, you ask?  It's almost like the Band-Aids decomposed, and so the sticky stuff is incredibly attached to the fur.  It's akin to the texture of rubber cement or sticky tack/gum.  This means that the Band-Aid rips into pieces when you try to remove it, and that you are then stuck trying to use forks, ice cubes, hair spray, and items from various other old wives' tales to try and remove the remaining Band-Aid.  In the end, the only trick that worked was extreme patience.

So, I guess the moral of this story is - Band-Aids are good for the one thing for which they are advertised.  If you have an inquisitive child, keep them locked up with the medicine and knives, or you're going to have a big mess on your hands.