Friday, October 9, 2009

Bumbo babysitter

Since the Bumbo has become pretty much a standard baby purchase, I'm not going to treat this post like you've never heard of them before, and that I've made some brilliant discovery here. Instead, let's discuss what we like and don't like about them, and whether or not they are worth buying/having.

First of all, they finally got some more colours. Yay! Originally I think it was just pink, blue, yellow, purple and turquoise... was there lime green, too? Lately I've seen orange and red as well. Nice to have options, especially if you don't know if it's a boy or girl at the time of purchase.

I love my Bumbo, and have used it often with both kids. I start them around 3-4 months old, for short periods of time only until they learn to stop leaning and tipping. The tray is very useful to have, especially when they are still gaining neck and back strength, because they can brace themselves up a bit. When I start solid food with my kids, it's in the Bumbo. I just set it on the counter or table and face them, then shovel away. It's a much nicer arm height than a highchair, until you get to the point where they can begin feeding themselves finger food or use utensils. Very portable, obviously, as well. There is a warning that it isn't supposed to be on raised surfaces, but if you're sitting or standing right there the whole time, I don't see it being a major risk.

I have the older-style tray. It's alright, but the older the child gets, the easier it is for them to wiggle it off if they're arching in the seat. The newer tray seems to be designed better to combat this problem.

Once a baby is on finger foods, and a little more independent, it's nice to be able to put them on the floor in it and scatter some cheerios or mum-mums on the tray for them. Yes, you could easily do this in a highchair, but do you really want to drag your highchair around the house to your computer/laundry room/bedroom if you want to bring the baby with you while you get some tasks done? This makes it simple.

They do reach a point where they can get themselves out, and that seems to be different for each child. Close supervision is always recommended.

As for furthered use, I've even seen small-bummed toddlers able to use it as a booster seat at 2-3 years old! Although, there are babies with really chunky thighs who don't seem to fit in it at the age it's intended for. Shop wisely if you have a michelin baby.

All in all, a very valuable item to have at your disposable. Even if just to plunk your not-yet-sitting-upright baby in while you pee.

Available at Babies R Us.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Munchkin BPA-free 10oz insulated straw cup

We have tried many a straw cup in this home. Many didn't make it past the first day because they simply leaked too much. This one has stood the test of time and is the one I have repeat-purchased (not as replacements, but as extras).

The insulation is not what you'd find in a Foogo.... it won't keep the juice or water super-cold for long, but it also won't start to get lukewarm or ferment too quickly either. I don't believe a cup of this style exists that will never EVER leak; however, this one has done the best at only releasing a few tiny drops when shaken, thrown, turned upside down, etc. Once in awhile, if left sitting full at certain temperatures, it does seem to back-up and leak up out of the straw, then drip down and pool around the base. Annoying, but lots of cups do that.

Cleaning has been relatively easy. There are only four parts: cup, lid (with hinged straw keeper), and a two-part straw with attached valve. Threading that straw can be a bit tricky at first, so take your time and do it when there isn't a toddler standing beside you begging for their drink. You kind of need to flip the keeper open and closed a few times while pushing the straw up through the bottom, until it bends properly and lines up with the hole and you can pull it out through.

I have yet to find a plain one without a licensed character on it, but of course my daughter loves that, and she can easily identify it as her "Dora cup" when asking for it. The flip-top is easy for her to close, but at 2 and a half years old, she still needs me to open it for her as it does click shut firmly.

Purchased at my local Shoppers Drug Mart. Available where Munchkin products are sold.

Gerber Graduates Tossables plates

I know, I know. Plastic isn't good. But honestly... I find it really hard to completely avoid it all the time. Frozen foods come in plastic bags... the inside of my fridge and freezer are plastic for crying out loud! But I am becoming vigilant about not putting plastic in the microwave or dishwasher. The good thing about these plates is you aren't supposed to do either of those things with them anyways.

These come in a package of three: monkey, tiger and hippo faces. They are thin, translucent, almost bendable plastic, but sturdy enough to handle daily wear and tear. Each plate has two sections (nice for toddlers who like their food organized, and keeps runny foods from getting other dry foods wet). My daughter enjoyed moving the food around (or eating it) the first few times she used them, to try to find the eyes and mouth of each animal.

I am a little confused by the name: does "tossable" mean that they are disposable? Or just that you can throw them around and they can take a beating? I'm not sure. But they are definitely reusable.

The same cannot be said for the matching sippy cup, which has been declared the worst sippy cup in the world.

Purchased at my local Walmart.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Ergo Baby Carrier

I have been waiting awhile to write my review on the Ergo, because I wanted to really make sure that I adequately explain just how amazing it is. I cannot imagine a better carrier because there isn't anything about the Ergo that I don't like. I do like my sling, but to me that's a different product and it serves a different purpose. The Ergo is a structured carrier, but it's soft... no inner metal skeleton like those massive hiking backpacks.

Let's start with the basic construction features. It has a wide, adjustable waist belt that clips (around the parent) and offers an elastic back-up around the clip for added safety (waist extenders are available but sold separately). The opposite side of the waist belt, that baby rests on, is firm and padded... very supportive, especially in the back carry position. The genius in the design of this carrier is that the weight of the baby or child isn't digging into your shoulders; it's all in the waist, and the straps are really just there to anchor the baby to your body. Starting from the waistband, a wide, flat piece of canvas holds the baby against you (and also has a small zippered pocket for wallet, keys, etc). What I love about this carrier, as compared to something like the Baby Bjorn, is that the baby is supported by their full bum and thighs, not just suspended by the crotch (yeah, cause that's comfortable!). It seems more companies are starting to realize this is a better way to carry, with the child's weight distributed more evenly. At the top of the canvas piece is an adjustable sleeping hood (love it) that can be tucked away into the pocket when not in use, and two large padded straps that go over the parent's shoulders. The shoulder straps have a small clip strap between them (that does up on your chest or back, depending on which carry you're doing) so that they don't slide off and you're completely hands-free. The strap adjustments are easily reached by each hand individually (just pull on the hanging small straps to tighten). All of the small adjuster straps feature little velcro tabs for tucking extra lengths of strap up and out of the way. Little details like that really show me this company is thinking and considerate of what the parents want and need.

Your baby can be worn on your front, back or side. I've never tried the side carry because I've been completely happy with the back and front options, and you do have to undo and rearrange some of the straps. I'm too lazy for something like that. The one complaint some people have about the Ergo is that you can't wear the baby facing out. The doctor who helped design the Ergo has this to say: "Infants in outward-facing orientations can’t turn away from surrounding stimuli. They can't turn inward toward a parent's body if stimuli become overwhelming. In this position the baby cannot make eye contact with his or her parent to evaluate facial expressions, social cues, and so forth to make assessment of the situation. Only choose a baby carrier that allows your child to face you ... never out. There are too many events going on around your baby. A baby has no way to exclude himself from the environment by turning his head away and towards you. Healthy sleep is difficult for a baby who is facing outward. I am not a supporter of the outward facing method of carrying a child." I think this makes a lot of sense. As far as getting the baby into and out of the carrier by yourself, the front carry is definitely easier than the back, but I've done both successfully. When you buy an Ergo it comes with an instructional DVD that shows you all of these things.

Some other features: The weight recommendation is 40lbs but it has been tested for up to 90lbs. Several accessories are available, including a weather shield, infant insert (for babies younger than 3 months), attachable pouch or backpack, and sucking pads (hilarious but really useful, because anyone who has worn a baby in an Ergo knows that the straps get lots of sucking action!). The carrier itself is available in several different colour combinations, and a fully organic cotton carrier is also available. The current cost is about $120, which makes it a pricier option, but I really believe it's worth every penny. I've used mine so much that I never question whether or not it has paid off.

If I had to come up with a complaint, the only thing I don't like is how the waist strap smooshes into my post-pregnancy belly flab when I'm carrying a baby on my back. But really, that's not the company's fault now is it?

Purchased from milkface. Available at many specialty baby boutiques. Official Website.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Miracle Blanket

Some babies don't need to be swaddled. Those that do? Need straitjackets.

A newborn of just a handful of days old probably can't wrestle itself out of one of those postage-stamp-sized receiving blankets, if you can do a good job of wrapping it close and tucking it well (the baby burrito is quite an art, I have learned). However, as the days pass by and those fists get moodier and jerking, startled arm movements wake your baby again and again, you need something bigger or better. Maybe you scored an oversized blanket or two. Great! But those curious little fingers still manage to work their way out by the end of naptime. Some babies are fine if that happens; some, like my daughter, won't sleep for more than 30 consecutive minutes if they happen to be startled awake or are able to move their arms. For awhile I would do a double-receiving blanket swaddle... the first one I used solely to pin her arms down in, and the second one was to keep the first one in place. I heard rumours of a "miracle" swaddling blanket, and I needed to know more.

If you have a light sleeper, this blanket truly is the miracle it claims to be. Now that we are told to always put babies to sleep on their backs, poor sleepers are common; they don't feel secure with their arms free in open air. This blanket has it all: 100% cotton; inner arm flaps that tuck under baby's back to secure them in place; a footbag; and an overwrap that goes around the baby twice to prevent loosening and provide a snug, custom cocoon fit (one size fits all). I used this blanket for every nap and nighttime from the time my daughter was about 3 months old (would have used it sooner, if I had it earlier) until 5 or 6 months. She always really fought sleep, so having her swaddled was a HUGE help in getting her to settle down and give in. I used to panic when it was in the laundry... it couldn't dry fast enough!

One warning I will give: don't wrap the baby's arms in the flaps and outer wrap without using the footbag. I did this once and when I checked on her through the night, she had been able to shimmy the blanket up much closer to her face, almost up over her mouth. The footbag keeps it from travelling up to an unsafe area on your baby.

During my second pregnancy, I sorted through all my bins of baby items and lovingly brought the blanket out and washed it, ready for round 2. My second child? A fabulous sleeper with no need for swaddling. Go figure.

Available here in several lovely colours. Watch the little video to see how it works!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Safety 1st Crystal Clear Monitor

We forgot our regular monitor (one of those $100 Fisher-Price ones) at home when we went to visit friends for the weekend. We went to Wal-Mart to pick up the cheapest monitor we could find just to get us through the weekend and then keep in the trunk for whenever we go places.
The Safety 1st Crystal Clear Monitor cost us $20.
It actually is crystal clear!! I could not believe it, it is so clear that you can hear the hum of the furnace through it! There is no feedback either - no annoying hum that all monitors seem to have!

The receiver can be plugged in or has room for a 9-volt battery so you can take it with you when there are no plugs available. Not sure if plugging it back in will recharge the battery or not. It has 2 channels and a great volume control.

For $20 I seriously could not recommend a better monitor.

Sugar Peas wool diaper cover

I'm pretty sad I only have one of these! I should have bought more at the time (2 years ago) because I've found they aren't quite the same anymore. I have one in a bigger size that isn't the same texture of wool. This brown one seems to be felted better.

A brief background on wool covers (since they aren't as widely used with the cloth diapers as the polyurethane laminate are): wool is breathable and naturally anti-microbial. It doesn't need to be washed often (or even rinsed, unless it gets poop directly on it), but when you do wash it you have to use a special wash, such as Woolite or Eucalan. It also needs to be periodically lanolized , but only if you sense they are feeling more damp than usual. A wool cover, when it has a soaked diaper inside of it, feels somewhat humid to the touch; however, it's working hard to evaporate the moisture into the air. They are fantastic for overnight.

So, this particular wool cover is just a really nice fit (on my babies, anyways...). The shape is great, good snug fit around the legs, and a nice high waist panel. A friend of mine did have trouble with the leg gusset thread coming undone, but she took them back for replacement and was only able to get a refund... however, she loved them so much that now she wishes she'd kept them and fixed them herself!

Purchased at The Extraordinary Baby Shoppe.

Monday, June 29, 2009

DermaMed Natural Healing Cream

Guest blog post by Lindsey Bost, mother of three.
I would like to review a product that made a WORLD of difference with our 3rd son. Its called DermaMed Natural Healing Cream for Infants & Children. Jacobi had an unknown allergy that caused his skin to peel off, crack and bleed and blister up. He would scratch his face so bad he would be bleeding all the time. We went to specialists, switched formulas, had steroid cream, we switched him to rice and almond milk...nothing helped. The one product that helped, and by helped I mean brought him serious relief, was this product. At 25.99 a jar, our son's skin improved miraculously. The problem did not go away until 6 months of age, but that cream got us there. I bought it at "Abundant Health" in Goderich. They carry a line of adult products as well. The jar is quite small but a little goes a long way. Anyhow, I just wanted to note this product as a miracle product for our family, and anyone with skin conditions.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Little Tikes Ultimate Wooden Kitchen

Once you get past the assembly (it has approximately 5 bazillion pieces), this little kitchen gets top marks for looks and durability. At around $200 it is relatively pricey, but I'm willing to bet it will have good resale value once your kids have outgrown it. Do what I did: let the grandparents buy it!

Features include an ironing board with iron, front-loader washer (no dryer though...hmmmm) with basket, dishwasher, oven, fridge, microwave, sink, range, storage cupboards, spice rack, clock, phone, chalkboard, and a couple pots/pans. The doors are magnetic and I have to be honest, they are pretty difficult for a younger toddler to open. My daughter was a few months shy of 2 when we got it and she had trouble at first.

The only piece we've had trouble with is the washer door. My daughter can pull it right off (it attaches by jamming it in and lining up two little bumps with two little holes). It doesn't break though, and goes back on easily enough.

**Bonus points: pencil crayon scribbles wash off easily.

Highly recommended. If you need it put together for a birthday or Christmas present, do NOT leave assembly until the night before. Trust me.

Purchased at Toys R Us.

Friday, June 26, 2009

g Diapers

I use mostly cloth diapers, but also some disposables when I feel like it. I used to be more strict with myself, when my firstborn was little, but I've relaxed in my old age. Anyways, I had seen these hybrid g Diapers and wondered to myself, if you're needing to wash the covers anyways, why not just use full-cloth? Why have disposable inserts? They seemed expensive, especially the refills.

Here's how the diaper works: the soft cotton underwear-like "pants" (with velcro closures, that do up at the back... genius) have snap-in plastic "hammocks" (as I call them). You stick an absorbent pad-like insert into the hammock and put the whole thing on your babe. When baby wets or soils, you remove the absorbent portion and either flush it, put it in the garbage, or compost it (but poopy ones can't be composted). The hammocks can be rotated and aired out or rinsed between diaper changes because each pair of pants comes with two, a good thing considering that poop generally doesn't stay on the disposable part. The starter kit comes with a plastic swish stick for breaking up the pad before flushing, but you have to actually rip it fully open before putting it in the toilet (it's designed for this, so there are designated easy-tear lines). You have to be careful with septic tanks, so that was another factor making me hesitant to invest.

Recently, a fellow cloth-diapering friend of mine started using them with her kids... and she was using prefolds in the pants instead of the throw-away inserts. Brilliant! I loved how soft and cute they looked on, and I went and purchased a starter kit (two pants, 4 hammocks, 10 inserts).

I thought I might as well use up those disposable inserts first, since they came with it. I'm glad I wasn't planning on continuing to use them, because I'm not overally impressed when I compare them to a full-cloth system or even full disposables. The insert goes in stiff and holds its shape, but as soon as it gets wet it tends to wad up, meaning any poop after a pee is mostly going to end up directly in the plastic hammock (which stains easily, by the way... stains that do not wash out).

When I went to start using the prefolds instead, I found them a bit awkward just because of shape and size. They aren't designed for this diaper specifically, so it seemed like I kept folding it in too narrow, wide or too long. I couldn't get it right and went back to using my other diapers without reaching for the g's very often.

Solution!!! g Diapers finally clued in that people like their design but want options. I haven't tried these yet but I'm working on getting some and I hope/assume they are going to work really well. One thing that I really like about the g Diaper design is that the wetness doesn't have to wick up and around the baby's legs and hips... it all stays put right between the legs. You can get a similar effect from a prefold, folded in thirds, placed into a regular waterproof cover. But there isn't an inner mechanism to hold it in place like this one; the edges of the inner hammock really do seal that wetness off into the smallest space possible.

I've checked out the company's website and really like their whole approach and philosophy. They also have cuter pants than just what you get in the starter kit (orange, cream), including girly ones with ruffles or black ones for your ultra-posh tot.

My starter kit was purchased at Cheeky Monkey.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Aleva Naturals 2 in 1 Hair and Body Wash


This self-foaming liquid smells like tea-tree oil, lavender, orange peel, and other yummy delights. It is both paraben- and pthalate-free (word on the street is that those are the Big Bad Ingredients, to be avoided at all costs). Before I found this product, I was using Burt's Bees body soap and (separate) shampoo bar; I liked them, but the bars were relatively messy and not great for travel. I love that this wash is in one bottle, and even though it was around $10, it has lasted really well (I think the self-foaming feature helps... I'm the kind of person who takes a ton of shampoo so that I get a good lather).

It is made in Canada and some of the ingredients are certified organic (but not all). Purchased, surprisingly enough, at my local Walmart. It was hidden on a high shelf above the Johnson & Johnson's empire. It also came with a little bonus tube of their Breathe Easy cream, which can be applied around the nose to help clear congestion in infants and children (I use it myself... love it). Company website here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Belly Bandit postpartum wrap

*Giant sigh of disappointment*.

I didn't expect this wrap to work miracles (although the advertising did seem to promise a lovely slim figure just weeks after giving birth); I was definitely wary of those claims. I did expect it to at least be comfortable and make me look okay in clothes!! The reason I'm using a stock photo of this product is because I can't photograph mine, as it's already been sold on kijiji (for 75% of the retail price, I might add! It sold in 2 days).

Ok, so I put the thing on the day after giving birth to my second child, as the instructions said you could begin that early. I had used their sizing chart to select my size (medium) and i really had to pack myself in there to get the velcro to meet (understandable, considering how much weight you lose that first week). It felt nice to have something tight and supportive around me while I was still large and recovering from birth. The instructions also say to wear it 24 hours a day, just take it off to shower. So... while I sleep? I understand the reasoning but honestly, it's a VERY stiff item! I tried a couple times but could not sleep well with it on.

After a few days of wear, the wrap started to get some very deep creases in it at the back from the natural curve of my (and most women's) body(s). Even after washing and steaming, the creases wouldn't come out. I concluded that the Belly Bandit must be designed for women whose torsos are shaped like a toilet paper roll. And by week 5or 6, the size that had barely done up on day 2 was now too big for me.

Another complaint: they claim it barely shows under clothes. Are these women wearing bulky sweaters with large cable knit? Because unless that's the case, the bandit is definitely visible under clothing. The part of the velcro tab that overlaps is quite thick and stiff. If you want your gut sucked in and smooth under a shirt, get some Spanx.

Purchased online at Cheeky Monkey. I will be reviewing another, BETTER, postpartum wrap from Tokyo Baby some time soon.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dex Dura-bib

Terry-cloth bibs are fine and dandy for spit-up or rice cereal. But when your child starts on those finger foods and messy meals, you need a bib that works hard for you. I tried some cheapy ones with the "catch" trough, but they never stayed open well enough to catch anything. I finally realized i needed an expert's opinion.. who better than a mother of 8? Kate Gosselin uses Dex Dura-bibs exclusively.

The front of the bib is a thick, washable polyurethane surface, and the back is some kind of canvas-type cloth. There are two sets of snaps (with different colours that match up to help you construct the "trough"), and when they are undone the bib folds out 100% flat for washing or wiping. When done up, the bib trough edge sits well away from the child's chest and remains open because of how thick and stiff the material is. You could dump half a cup of juice in that sucker, it's not gonna leak.

The "designs" are hideous. I think there are 5 or 6 to choose from but they are all from the same artist and they all suck. Totally late-80's/early-90's (and not in a good way). But I digress. The quality of the bib trumps the ugliness.

Purchased at the Safety Superstore. Let's just hope the bibs have better longevity than Jon and Kate's marriage...

Monday, June 15, 2009

GAIA Skin Soothing Lotion

I love this "nappy rash cream" as it is organic, thick, has a light citrus scent and can be used on eczema, mosquito bites and any other skin irritations.
It's a little on the pricey side (I believe I paid ~$15 for a 200mL bottle) but a little goes a long way.
Whenever applied, I see a 50-80% improvement overnight! It also seems quite soothing as he calms down whenever I apply it to his bum :)
Company website here. Purchased at Rolz&Sassy (Kincardine)

Foogo sippy cup and Foogo straw cup (by Thermos)

I really really wanted to love these cups. I wanted them to be so great that I'd never have to buy another sippy again. I looked forward to the consecutive unrefrigerated hours of insulated goodness. The insulation delivered; the spill-proof factor did not.

I found that with both of these cups, the straw cup especially, if they are left on their sides they inevitably produce a sticky puddle on the floor (...couch... blankie...table...). If held upside down or shaken, the sippy will leak in drips. The straw cup will leak in a stream. I don't know if it's the valve construction or what, but at $18+ each, I am not impressed. I'm sure they would still be good for long trips or outings when milk and juice need to be kept cold and spilling doesn't matter (think picnic). But for around my house, when my toddler prances around and throws/drops/shakes/abandons cups, they are definitely not ideal.

Purchased at Snugglebugz (Burlington) but available at most specialty baby boutiques.

Munchkin bottle drying rack and bottle brush

Bottles and sippy cups can have WAY too many finicky, easily-lost pieces for normal dish drying racks. This fold-down-flat contraption helps dry your bottles, nipples, rings, and even straws. I actually leave all the pieces on it even after they've dried; it's a nice, accessible storage system! The angled design helps water drippings to collect at the bottom (over time it can get kind of yucky, moreso if you have hard water like me, so it needs periodic cleaning).

The rack has a special slot to hold the Munchkin bottle brush (sold separately). The brush has a handy mini-brush hidden in the handle for cleaning nipples, and the angled sponge tip gets into the bottle bottom really well. My only complaint is that the nipple brush can be really hard to pull out of the handle, especially with wet hands.

Purchased at my local Walmart. Has anyone tried the SkipHop one or another brand?

Friday, June 12, 2009

live clean Non-Petroleum Baby Jelly

I've been using Vaseline on my daughter's butt for 2 years.
...And? you ask.

The live clean products are plant-based and "natural" (whatever that means, but I'm hoping and guessing it's a better combo of ingredients). I haven't been using it that long yet, but what I can tell you is that it does exactly the same thing Vaseline does as far as lubricant/protective factors. The texture is a bit grainier, but there is absolutely no scent. Purchased from my local Zehrs grocery store.

Happy to have options. I'll be reviewing live clean's baby wash in the near future.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Snack Trap

Eight bucks for a snackholder? You're kidding, right? Well, I wondered if I was being a big sucker when I purchased this little item. A plastic cup with handles and a lid (a la tupperware) didn't seem to be a wise investment. But, as usual, I was intrigued by its claims. My daughter was just under a year old at the time and was into little finger foods like cheerios and gerber graduates puffs (things that took about .5 seconds to be dumped by her, with glee, onto my floor). Little did I know that I would be using said container almost every single day for over a year! At first my daughter would just shake it to try to get the snacks out from inside the little rubber flaps, and I thought that kind of defeated the purpose of the whole "trap" business. It didn't take long for her to understand the mechanism though, and she's been using it almost daily since. Now, at just over two years old, she knows how to have a snack in a bowl without spilling it all over my living room. But I still find it very useful for the car! Favourite fillings: dry froot loops, alpha bits or goldfish crackers.

The plastic cup is sturdy and can handle being dropped and banged around like crazy. The specially-designed, spill-reducing lid does get a bit of wear over time, especially if you use a dishwasher, but you can buy replacements separately at a lower cost. Also available: sippy lid attachment or a stay-fresh lid that fits over the original lid. You can also purchase the Snack Trap in a two-pack or buy a special tether to attach it to your stroller, purse, or ...belt-loop ('cause that's attractive! what could possibly scream "i'm a mom!" more than that?), but you could also just use any other clip or carabiner I'm sure.

Purchased from a store that no longer exists... but available from many places, including Rolz&Sassy (Kincardine), Safety Superstore, and Cheeky Monkey (London).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Original Robeez soft-soled shoes

This one's a no-brainer; pretty much every parent or parent-to-be knows that these are the standard soft shoe that you get for your kids. But what no one seems to agree on is whether they're called "ROE-bees" or "ROBB-ees". Either way, they come in adorable and hip designs, and these leather beauties will fit little feet from birth (sort-of... at first they may fit in the ankle but not be filled right to the toe) until 24+ months. I have found that even with almost daily use, these shoes hold up incredibly well and will easily last you through more than one child's wear. They stay on, and they keep those wandering baby socks in place. They'll cost you more than the average walmart-style cloth crib shoe, but they are worth it (if you really can't imagine paying that much though, Joe brand and some Etsy sellers make fabulous knock-offs). Available at major retailers and baby boutiques, or here.