21zvw4jlwul__aa160_Last week, my toddler and I were at our Mommy & Me class, when they pulled out the green sparkly paint.  Since my laundry load has tripled with the new baby’s arrival, I really didn’t want to get another outfit dirty at 11am. I also didn’t want to get paint all over his jacket, me or our car. So, I had come prepared with our new Baby Bjorn Eat and Play Smock ($25.95). Within seconds, my son was snapped in and fully covered.  Of course he got it dirty with the paint, but that’s what smocks are for!  When we were finished, I whipped the smock off, folded it up inside out and sponged it off when got home (the washable paint came right out).  His hands were green, but his clothes were clean!  All the other parents looked at me enviously, as all their kids were covered in paint.  You can wash their hands, but to start wiping down clothes in school…not going to work.  I was impressed with how lightweight the smock’s fabric is – I was expecting a heavy, plasticky bib type thing.  It covered from my son’s arms to down to his mid-thighs. We can also use this smock for eating (great for when I serve spaghetti and meatballs) or for art projects. Since it was so big as well as durable, it will also work for him in nursery school next year. I also liked that the neckline protected his shirt collar. Since this smock will protect his clothes and save me some laundry duty – just color me happy!

Product_kitchenplate_2We also tested out Baby Bjorn’s plate and spoon ($19.95 for a plate with two spoons), as well as their soft bib ($9.95). I loved the plate because it was kind of a bowl hybrid and very sturdy.  It stayed put on our table (and didn’t move around as much as our other plastic plates). It worked well for everything from yogurt to waffles to matzoh ball soup.

Baby Bjorn designed it to be child friendly. The company said, "We added a rubber ring on the underside to stop it from sliding around. We made the plate a three-leaf clover shape with corners inside and edges that slope slightly inwards.  This made it easier to scoop food onto the spoon. We made the outer edges of the plate sloping, to make it harder for the child to bang it up and down or to throw it away." The plate is dishwasher and microwave safe. While I’ll clean my son’s plates and cups in our dishwasher, my rule is never to microwave my son’s food in any plastic plate. My son has had a hard time making utensils work for him, so I was happy that the spoon’s base was made of rubber and wider on the end, making it easier to grasp. The easier to grasp spoon also came in handy because he switches it between his hands (very common until age 3). I also liked the notch on the underside of the spoon, which stopped it from sliding down into the plate.  Which was great, because my son freaks out if his yogurt gets all over his spoon!

The soft bib was perfect for catching crumbs ( it has a deep pocket) and is very easy to clean. I could even put it in the dishwasher to clean — but I found it easier to just rinse it in our sink and let it air dry. According to Baby Bjorn, "The neck is designed like a bead necklace with continuous fastening, so it can be individually adjusted to fit a child." It fits my 2 1/2 year old son perfectly and since he likes it, I will get another one to use with our almost 4 month old, when she starts cereal in 2 months. Or maybe at first, I’ll try the Eat and Play Smock on her! Either way, will hopefully cut down on my laundry load!

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