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Dear Marianne:

What is the best way to store toys outdoors?
Ken, Newport Beach, CA, Father of Josh (6), Eric (4) and Trinity (2)

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Infant/Toddler Juvenile Product Gift Guide

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Toy Tips announces the newest area on our site! After continued consumer requests for information on juvenile products for children, Toy Tips is introducing a consumer gift guide on products specifically for infants and toddlers. The area will be updated quarterly and include Toy Tips reviews of the newest products on the market. All products have been researched using the Toy Tips research methodology and parent-tested and rated based on functionality, affordability and continued use. All comments are welcome and can be sent to Marianne@toytips.com.

Our rating system is based on a 3-5 star scoring table. This means all products surpass average scores and we do not publish any review that has received a score less than 3. After testing, all products are donated to The Toy Research Institute for children in need. For this study, we tested over 87 products and the results of the top 30 are listed in our guide.

We only publish information on products that exceed our testing standards. We do not publish reviews of average scores.

BETTER THAN AVERAGE
VERY GOOD
EXCEPTIONAL

To become "TTT" Tested and approved, a product MUST be tested independently using the Toy Tips academic/scientific research methodology and surpass average developmental skills.

Top 30 Juvenile Products:

 


Leisure Sport Travel System
Graco
$229.99
www.gracobaby.com
Jog-style stroller that includes an infant carrier car seat with a head guard that can transport easily and fit into the stay-in car base. One feature we liked is a hand brake for easy stopping and a one-touch wheel brake for parking. There is an organizer tray and a child's tray with a cupholder.

The 5-point harnass strap, thick seat pad and multi-reclining seat provide a comfortable fit for baby. However, an instruction manual is included. This stroller was easy to assemble and can be used through toddler years. *Kids of all ages are safest when properly restrained in the backseat of any automobile.


Convertible 3-way Activity Center
Graco
$69.99
www.gracobaby.com
360 degree swivel seat allows baby access to circular tray/toys. Encourages rocking motion and bounce so a child can strengthen motor skills and strengthen leg muscles in preparation for walking. There are 3 height adjustments as the child grows. The cloth seat is machine washable. A child should never be left unattended.


First Aid Friends
Munchkin
$5.95
www.munchkininc.com
Terry cloth cold pack that stays soft when frozen. We found these to be kid-friendly even beyond the toddler years. It does not get too cold/icy for a child and has a friendly animal shaped appearance to ease fear of pain. Can be kept in the freezer. We liked these because they are great for small bumps and bruises and provide a quick pain relief for headaches for adults.


WombSong Prenatal Sound System
Munchkin
$49.95
www.munchkininc.com
Based on prenatal brain research, in the third trimester of a pregnancy, the baby can hear and recognize sounds. Playing music, talking and singing to the baby can stimulate growth.
Parent or sibling can listen to the heartbeat of the baby and respond with sound to the child. Includes headphones, microphone, connection cable and a travel case for portability. We liked this as a gift idea for older siblings so they can feel they are part of the child's development.


Camille Crib
Pottery Barn Kids.com
$699
www.potterybarnkids.com
Antiqued birch wood crib with white finish and beaded detail. The mattress platform adjusts to four heights 15", 18", 21", 23.5" as the baby grows. For safety reasons, all cribs should have slats no more than 2 3/8" apart. The headboard and footboard are 48" high. Assembly is required. The crib mattress is sold separately and should fit snugly with no more than two fingers width between the edge of the mattress and the crib side. One feature we liked is that the rail locks so toddlers can't get out and older siblings can't get the rail down to let babies out.


2 speed open top swing #1424 French Bear
Graco
$79.99
www.gracobaby.com
Open top design allows easy access to baby. Includes a 2-speed battery motor, which runs up to 200 hours on 4 alkaline "D Cell" batteries (not included). The frame folds for easy storage. It is important when looking at swings, to be certain that the posts and legs are sturdy and the there is a wide enough stance to prevent tipping.
A baby should never be left alone in a swing unattended.


Sabrina 3-shelf bookcase
Pottery Barn Kids
$299
www.potterybarnkids.com
Three shelves can hold nine baskets (sold separately) or toys, books, clothes or other supplies. Available in a white or honey finish. Useful for other items as the child grows. Ideal for storage and eventually teaching a child how to organize belongings .Can also be used as a toy box to encourage teaching cleanup. No assembly required.


Strollerstand
Parentwise
$12.99-16.99
www.parentwise.com
Kickstand for stollers! Fits lightweight umbrella strollers. Easy to attach to prevent stroller tipping. Made of lightweight aluminum. If used with a double stroller, it is recommended to use two of these-one on each side.

When choosing a stroller, make sure the child fits comfortably in it and make sure there are straps to tie the child snugly inside.* We also recommend not to hang any diaper bags, purses or shopping bags on the handle. This could cause the weight to change and the stroller could still tip over.



Baby C-Bag
Baby C inc.
$19.95
www.babyc.com
Baby bag includes 8 infant and mom product samples, coupons and a parenting book on topics relating to caring for an infant. It also features a postpartum section for mom and practical tips. The bag can be used as a diaper bag or for storing baby items. We liked the idea of trying different products before purchase. It is important to consider multiple brands before deciding on what is best for each individual baby.


Catalina Collection Medicine Cabinet
Pottery Barn Kids.com
$99
www.potterybarnkids.com
Old fashioned medicine-style cabinet with beveled mirror. 20x6x5x28"H. There are 2 adjustable shelves. We liked this because it can also be used in a nursery to hold diaper ointment, and quick needed baby supplies. It is easy to match in either a boy or girl style room or bathroom and the shelves are spaced apart to hold different sizes of products.


Baby Care Line Must Haves
Avent
$14.99-$19.99
www.aventamerica.com
Formulated from flower, plant and milk extracts, the line of products are hypoallergenic and dermatologist approved. The line includes body and hair wash, liquid powder (ideal instead of dusting powder because a child can not inhale it), cleanser and moisturizer, bottom balm and massage gel. The sizes are small to fit in a diaper bag and can be purchased in larger individual sizes.


Rocking Dog
Pottery Barn Kids
$129
www.potterybarnkids.com
Mounted on two sturdy mahogany rocking treads, the plush dog has a soft to touch fabric and comes fully assembled. Recommended for toddlers, a child can use gross motor skills to rock the dog back and forth. This ride-on toy can aid a sleepy child to rock to sleep. Measures 32.5x15x25.5"H. Can hold a child up to 25 pounds.


Nursery Pegs
Pottery Barn Kids
$24
www.potterybarnkids.com
Mounted on two sturdy mahogany rocking treads, the plush dog has a soft to touch fabric and comes fully assembled. Recommended for toddlers, a child can use gross motor skills to rock the dog back and forth. This ride-on toy can aid a sleepy child to rock to sleep. Measures 32.5x15x25.5"H. Can hold a child up to 25 pounds.


Bolt Max
Munchkin
$3.29
www.boltdental.com
Disposable toothbrush that lights up to encourage fun while brushing. Features a suction-cup for air-drying and a base for easy handling. The light also serves as a warning to replace the brush every three months. Dentists recommend not to keep a toothbrush near a toilet or other areas of open air where bacteria can fly.

A child should see a pediatric dentist by his/her first birthday. Teeth should be brushed twice daily. This toothbrush is recommended for use by parents on the child until the child shows readiness to brush alone. Either way, it is recommended a parent should supervise.



Magic Cups (non-spill)
Avent
$9.99
www.aventamerica.com
Non-spill cup that allows a child to sip easily. One feature that we liked is the valve flexes and opens to allow air in. This provides a continuous flow of liquid out so less suction is required for infants and toddlers. These are dishwasher safe.


Magic Cup Trainer
Avent
$9.99
www.aventamerica.com
Cup with handles that can be removed as the child grows older and no longer needs them. Features a non-spill cup and all the qualities of the Avent Magic Cups (review above). For safety reasons, when training your child to drink with a cup, be certain that the child does not sleep with a cup of liquid.


Single Desk with Chair
Kidstation
$199.95
www.kidstation.com
This is a computer desk that is really designed for preschoolers. However, if you plan on starting your child on the computer at a toddler age, you can use a booster seat. We found this to be adjustable so the child's arms can rest comfortably at a 90 degree angle. Ergonomic in design, this is the most comfortable computer desk we found on the market. The backrest of the chair is fully supported and the height adjusts as the child grows so the childÕs feet can be placed on the floor.

Made of a washable melamine surface, the desk is designed to allow proper sitting posture while a child plays on the computer.

It is important that when a child does play on the computer, that s/he takes breaks every 10 minutes.


CPU Printer Stand
Kidstation
$199.95
www.kidstation.com
Designed to match the desk (above), the printer stand accommodates all CPU boxes and printers. Includes drawers that spread 1/2" apart and are sized for printer paper so fingers can not get caught. Made of laminated melamine and is washable.



Little Psyclone
Teva's
$24.95
www.teva.com
Sandals that have hook and loop closing systems that makes it easy for parents to attach and eventually for children to learn. Open-toed for comfort while walking allows toes to breathe so socks are not needed. Easy to pack for vacations and warm weather. Not recommended for cold climates.



Express Baby Jogger
Baby Jogger Company
$330
www.babyjogger.com
This telescoping jogging stroller features a shock absorbency system with 2 springs that flex as the stroller rolls over rubble/bumpy surfaces such as gravel. This absorbs impact minimizing vibration. Features 16 inch bike-style wheels and a lightweight frame and is compact enough to fit in it's own backpack. Includes a lifetime warranty.



TV Turtle
Kidsafe
$24.99
www.kidsafetv.net
Turtle-shaped remote that allows parents to control what a child watches on television. Can be pre-programmed to 10 channels. Includes a parent-safeguard that recognizes when a child accessed a station that is not an approved channel. When this happens, it will automatically revert back to a pre-programmed channel. Includes an automatic shut-off at a pre-designated time to monitor television watching. Monitoring the time a child spends watching television is suggested.



Ultrasaucer
Evenflo
$79.99
www.evenflo.com
Ultrasaucer includes 10 interactive built-in toys featuring textures for sensory development. Suggested for ages 4 months to walking age, this allows a child to rock, bounce and spin. Includes a washable seat pad and can be used indoors or outdoors. A child should NEVER be left unattended. Child cannot "walk" for safety reasons but bouncing encourages strengthening motor skills, which will facilitate walking.


Snugli out and About
Evenflo
$29.99
www.evenflo.com
One shoulder harness. Features comfortable soft mesh lining and air flow on the seat to keep air circulating for comfort. Dual side entry for easy placement and removal of child. Lumbar pad supports lower back. Machine washable. For safety reasons, when using this child carrier, parent must be attentive to surroundings and make sure the child is secure and can quickly be removed if necessary.


Johnny Jump Up
Evenflo
$19.99
www.evenflo.com
Portable infant exerciser to strengthen leg muscles for children 4 months- walking age. Attaches to a door frame (door must be sturdy and non-swinging) Parent must make sure to supervise. Features adjusting straps for a secure fit to grow with a child's height and weight. Maximum weight of 24 pounds. Develops coordination and bouncing skills. These have been popular for decades and seem to entertain a child, however, for safety reasons, a child should never be left alone while in use.


Animal Shaped Lamps
Pottery Barn Kids
$39
www.potterybarnkids.com
Made of rice paper over a wire frame. (UL listed) 12 x 5 x 8" H. Uses a 15 watt bulb. Available in pink (pig), yellow (duck) or white (sheep). Soft glow for restful sleep and can be used as a nightlight or for older children who are afraid of the dark. One feature we liked is the parent-controlled switch that lies behind the lamp and is out of the reach of a child. This and all lamps should never be placed near a crib or where a child can reach or touch.


Baby Collection
Origins
$7.50-$13.50
www.origins.com
Made of natural ingredients including Sweet Almond Oil, Safflower Oil, Soybean, Shea Butter and Aloe and the gentle, calming oils of Lavandin and Ylang Ylang, all products are dermatologist-tested. The packaging is designed to allow Mom to handle the products while keeping a steady grip on baby at the same time. Products include cleanser, moisturizer and massage cream. Each product is sold individually.



Jeep Grand Cherokee All Terrain Stroller
Kolocraft
$109.99
www.jeep.com
Features over-sized wheels with 4 wheel suspension and one handed folding and steering for comfortable maneuverability. Includes a multi-positioning reclining seat, canopy with window and cover, and 3-point safety harness with quick release buckle. Activities include electronic steering wheel with realistic sounds, car horn and starting engine, movable gear shifter, clicking and turning keys, rearview mirror and a push button radio that plays 3 songs. Includes a snack tray with a cup holder. Can accommodate up to a 41-pound child.

For parents there are removable saddle bags and a rear basket. We liked this because it is a really "cool" looking stroller that offers activities for a child beyond hanging toys and we found that the stroller drives comfortably.


Jeep Baby's First Jeep Rocker
Kolocraft
$39.99
www.jeep.com
Transforms from a baby rocker to a toddler chair. Folds flat for easy transport and storage. Multi-position reclining set and a 3-point padded strap for security while feeding.

Features a steering wheel activity center with a soothing vibrating function. One feature we liked is that it can grow with a child and serve a dual purpose (baby rocker and toddler chiar). Can be used indoors and outdoors.


Extra Wide Soft Soft Gate
Evenflo
$29.99-$39.99
www.evenflo.com
Easy to install. Requires no hardware for assembly and won't damage door frames. 27 inches tall and expands to 38 inches to 60 inches wide. One feature we liked is the soft mesh panel. Unlike hard wooden gates, should a child fall against the gate, it minimizes the chance of injury.


Express Bottle and Babyfood Warmer
Avent
$39.99
www.aventamerica.com
Heats frozen breast milk and baby food without destroying nutrients. Thermostatic control and a thermal fuse allow heating bottles, disposable bags and jars without boiling or overheating. It is very important to make sure all heated breast milk and baby food is never too hot for a childÕs mouth. A parent or caregiver MUST check the temperature first. It should only be warm, NEVER hot.

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