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Baby Jogger City Versa Strollers Recalled: A Fall Hazard

December 12, 2012.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with Baby Jogger, has issued a recall of nearly 10,600 City Versa strollers.

According to the CPSC and Health Canada, the stroller frame can potentially fail to lock completely and therefore collapse, causing a fall hazard to the child in the stroller. In total, there has been six reported incidents, though no injuries to date. Purchased from July to October 2012 from stores nationwide in both the United States and Canada, the recall includes all Baby Jogger City Versa model strollers.

Consumers should immediately stop using this stroller and contact Baby jogger for a free replacement frame.

Call Baby Jogger toll-free at (877) 506-2213 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST Monday-Friday, email at [email protected], or go online at For more information, visit CPSC.

Defining Organic Food

Within the past decade or so, the emphasis on our health and the environment in which we live has increased tremendously. This shift in our world view is absolutely necessary and a welcome change to many – including myself-, yet it can be confusing. We are constantly exposed to terms like all-natural and organic, but do we really know what they mean?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has worked diligently to increase awareness of what “organic” is and how organic food can be upheld. The National Organic Program (NOP) specifically deals with this matter under the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

The NOP defines organic as “a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster recycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.”

Simple enough, right?

Okay, maybe not… In short, the term ‘organic’ loosely represents the avoidance of man-made alterations. It is simply natural and conducive to preserving the environment, just the way it has always been, and arguably the way it always should be. No radiation. No pesticides. No harmful chemicals. However, when we wind up in the grocery aisle with tons of marketing phrases leaping out at us, it can cause a lot of confusion. From organic to all-natural to 100% organic, it’s extremely overwhelming to figure out what means what.

Thankfully, in 2000, the USDA established their rulings on the use of the term “organic” on food labels. A company claiming their product classifies in one of the below categories is subject to approval by a certified third party accredited by the USDA.

“100% Organic” – Products deemed 100% organic must contain exactly that, only organic ingredients. This product is allowed to display the USDA Organic Seal.

“Organic” - Products labeled as organic must contain at least 95% organic materials. This title may also display the USDA Organic Seal.

“Made with Organic Ingredients” - This title is given to products that contain between 70-95% organic ingredients.

Anything less than 70% may not be called organic. If falsified, a producer could face a lawsuit as well as a large fine.

For more information on how to decipher what “organic” means, visit the USDA.

For even more on organic foods – from what foods to invest in and what organic foods you can skip – read Buying Organic 101.


Elf Sighting: December 11th

We found Beartha spinning on a display mobile in our store today! She obviously has good taste setting up camp in the CoCaLo Surie crib set display.

Don’t elves get dizzy?

Saying No to Gifts You Don’t Approve Of

So we’ve covered how to say no to your kids, but what about when your child is dying for a toy that you’d literally rather poke yourself in the eye with a pine needle than allow your child to have? It’s a tough situation, especially with the holidays in full swing, and gift givers everywhere are on the prowl for the latest and greatest in toys that you may very well not approve of.

Perhaps you’re an eco-concerned parent and every toy in the house better be BPA-free and lacking in phthalates. Or perhaps, the absurd beauty ideals subliminally attached to many dolls on the market today are not the values you want instilled on your sweet daughter, or son for that matter? Or perhaps you’re like me, and think Furby is the freakiest thing since Chucky and would honestly be uneasy housing one under your roof, let alone in the room of which your child sleeps!

So, how do you say no to your child when they want gifts you don’t approve of?

  Choose your battles. Is the Furby thing just you? Maybe your child truly will benefit by owning a Furby. The Gremlin-like creature’s behavior is shaped based on how your child treats it – maybe it will be a great learning tool and teach empathy. Maybe… But in all seriousness, what you may see as unethical or just plain weird is more than likely nothing that your child will ever see or absorb. Children are beautifully innocent; sometimes it’s best not to over think things.

  Ignore the wish-listed item. Sure, children go through great lengths to compose a wish-list fit for a king, but sometimes, everything on their list simply cannot be bought.  For a good five years of my youth, I always included a chimpanzee. I never got one. I got over it.

  Provide an alternative. If your child is dying for that Barbie with the skin tight outfit that you are just simply not comfortable with, opt for a different outfit. There are plenty of other options that may be more suited to your tastes. It’s all about compromise.

  Teach your child to appreciate the gifts they do receive. Discuss the importance of gratitude and how many people are less fortunate. As we all know, it’s tough for a child to put on a happy face if they are disappointed by what they received (e.g. clothes vs. video games), but it’s a life lesson that they’ll have to master eventually.

  Communicate. If you know of other friends and family members that will be shopping for your child this year, tell them what they should get him/her. It reduces the pressure on the shopper, and you’ll be sure you and your child are happy with the result.

Have you ever been in this situation before? What have you done to skirt the situation, or did you bite the bullet and give in?


Disclaimer: The views expressed towards an innocent stuffed animal in this post are solely my own and do not reflect BabyEarth’s core values or opinions.

Elf Sighting: December 10th

Beartha participated in some snowflake making over the weekend!

Unfortunately, she didn’t bother to clean up the mess…

Where did you find your elf today?

Praise Can Help You Do Anything

This video is one of my all-time favorite clips on the internet. In fact, I like this video as much as Jessica likes her “whole house!” If you are ever feeling low or need a pep talk, simply watch this and all is right in this fast-paced world we live in. The confidence and overall happy meter this little girl displays is admirable and infectious. I personally believe “Jessica’s Daily Affirmation” is a testament to the benefits of having supportive and loving parents. Granted, this may not be as awesome if it were said by anyone over the age of 10, but c’mon, it’s too great! If every parent instilled this much self-assurance in their little ones, I think the world would be a better place.

Praise your kids, and believe in them, because they’ll start believing too!


Elf Sighting: December 7th

Apparently Beartha has employed accomplices to help her keep tabs on who has been naughty and nice in the office. Here she is holding a meeting in the conference room!

Have you started the elf tradition in your home? If so, what has your elf been up to?

Interested in starting the tradition?! “The Elf on the Shelf” children’s story kit can be purchased at many chain retailers as well as online.

Dream On Me Recalls Bath Seats and Bed Rails

December 6, 2012.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Dream On Me Inc., has issued a recall of nearly 50,000 bath seats and 900 bed rails.

According to the CPSC, the bath seats fail to meet Federal Safety Standards and are therefore a drowning hazard as they can tip over in the tub. Purchased from July to September 2012, the recall includes all Dream On Me bath seats. For more information, visit CPSC.

This is one of the various colors and models recalled.
This is one of the various colors and models recalled.

In terms of the Dream On Me bed rails, the CPSC claims the bed rails pose a suffocation and strangulation hazard as the rail can separate from the mattress, potentially resulting in a child becoming entrapped between the two. No injuries have been reported. This item was sold from September 2011 through May 2012. For more information, visit CPSC.

Consumers should immediately stop using these products and contact Dream On Me.  Call Dream On Me toll-free at (877) 201-4317 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday-Friday, or go online at and click on “Recalls” found in the upper right hand corner.

How to get a Passport for Baby

Flying with baby can be difficult enough as it is, but add in an international flight, and there are plenty more hoops to jump through – the largest being obtaining a passport. Every U.S. citizen, regardless of age, has to have a valid passport to travel to and from foreign countries. With the ever-changing rules and regulations, it can be a tiring process. So, where do you start?

Here’s a step by step look at what you’ll need to do to get baby’s passport:

  • Get baby’s passport photo. Ditch the cute bows and fun props, photo requirements are extremely strict and failure to meet the requirements could cause a delay in receiving baby’s passport. It is suggested to get the photo taken by a professional passport photo service for a small fee; however, personal photos are just as acceptable. If you do choose to take the photo personally, be sure the color photo displays a clear view of baby’s face with open eyes and a visible hairline, all in front of a white background. The photo should be no bigger than 2 x 2 inches with the head being 1 inch to 1 ¾ inch.
  • Fill out the DS-11 form. You can find the form at the Department of State’s Travel site. While filling out the form, be sure to hold off on signatures until you are physically submitting the application at a local passport facility.
  • Gather all necessary materials. Prior to visiting your local passport facility, be sure you have the application, the passport photos (take a few in case one doesn’t work), baby’s proof of U.S. citizenship, photocopies of both guardians’ ID’s, and a certified copy of baby’s birth certificate. Both parents’ must also have photo ID readily available when at the facility. To find the nearest passport acceptance facility near you, click here.
  • Submit application. The U.S. Department of State requires both parents or legal guardians to attend the application process. If a parent cannot attend, a notarized Statement of Consent must be filled out prior to submission. If you are the sole parent-whether by death or through legal custody-you must submit proof.
  • Pay the passport fee. If expediting the application process, the fee will increase by $60.
  • Wait for passport to arrive! Though processing times vary depending on the season, it typically takes around two months.

Safe travels!  For more information, you can visit  the U.S. Department of State Travel website.

If you’re gearing up for a long flight with your little one soon, you may also want to read Flying with Baby: A Go-To Guide for a Smooth Flight.



Elf Sighting: December 6th

Apparently Beartha and her pal, Curious George, were racing strollers through the store!

I’m thinking Beartha won this round…