Saturday, January 9, 2010

Product Hits & Misses, Warm-n-Cozy Minnesota Edition

It's been a while since I've done one of these! But producers keep producing, and we keep consuming...

First up is a clever product introduced to us by Joy's OT, that we got for both Joy & Rose as Christmas presents.

LBow Mittens
These are L-Bow mittens, sold online from balmy Minnesota at The genius of the product is that they come all the way up to, well, the L-Bow. No more snow on the wrists between the mitten and the sleeve!

Joy's are the purple ones, Rose's are pink. You can see that the smaller size (Joy's) has an un-differentiated thumb -- each mitten has an identical triangle-shaped thumb pocket. I supposed it's meant so that the little kids don't have to figure out which mitt is which. I find that it's hard to get just Joy's thumb into it. Rose's mittens, the next size up, have more standard thumb-cases.

The big plus for Joy is that the mittens stay on much better than standard mittens, in addition to how well they keep out the snow. Rose likes having un-snowy wrists too, though at first she was afraid the other kids would laugh at her. (That issue does not seem to have materialized.) I don't know if Rose is getting them on without assistance at school; at home she's asking for help to put the second one on. For Joy we help her with the whole process, though she does put out her hands and assist with pushing them in.

Another plus was responsive customer service -- I initially ordered the wrong size for Rose and had to do an exchange in time for Christmas. No problem.

Unfortunately we've had some glitches with the construction of the mittens. I've had to do two sewing repairs on Rose's: the side of one thumb opened up and frayed, and the elastic band in one of the mitts had gone hard and crunchy and needed to be replaced. I imagine they'd have sent a new pair if I'd asked, but I didn't want to throw reparable mitts into the landfill. So I sewed up the thumb and replaced the elastic, and they're working fine.

L-Bow mittens run from $18.99 to $27.99 depending if you want the basics, the breatheable mitts (those are what we got), or the top of the line with removable "Easy Dry" inserts. The site also carries gloves and other products.


Next up: a basic item of baby clothing in a larger size -- bodysuits/"onesies" in a size 5T! These seem to have gotten rarer over time. Gerber used to make 5T a few years ago but dropped them altogether; the Gerber 4Ts are hard to find in stores but can still be acquired new on Ebay. They were inexpensive, thin, stretchy, lapped-shoulders only, and more under-shirt quality than T-shirt quality.

Joy grew out of the (small-running) Gerber 4Ts a while back, though not out of the need for them. Still in diapers, still at risk for diaper-digging. That's when we found Essential Whites, a company that is in the process of changing its name to TodBods but is still online at -- also in Minnesota!

Joy's been wearing their short-sleeved size 5T all-cotton bodysuits day in, day out for half a year now, and we just ordered some new long-sleeve ones. They shipped in a flash, and showed up in a lovely tissue wrap with a little herbal sachet:

5T bodysuit from Essential Whites / TodBods
We've found the short-sleevers to be soft, durable, and to run large for 5T, which is a blessing 'cause we haven't found any size 6's yet... Excellent quality, and we expect similar things from the longer-sleeves. There's a sleeveless option too. The only potential drawbacks to mention: the large sizes only come in white (great for tie-dye though I should think) and they do have neck-tags (doesn't bother Joy but may be a sensory problem for some.)

The 5T bodysuits are priced to match their quality: $10 apiece for long-sleeve, $9 for short or sleeveless. Buy 3 get 1 free, and if you go over $48 you get free shipping.


datri said...

I should probably put Kayla back in bodysuits. She still does a fair amount of digging ("hands out" is a common refrain over here!). I never considered butting her back in onsies.

mom2rebels said...

Thanks for the info (+ and -) on the mittens. Our last snow, I was lamenting that they don't make the "arms" go past the wrist. These just may be perfect for a couple little guys I know.

mama edge said...

When I was a kid, I lived in Danskin snap-crotch leotards. I blame Nadia Comaneci. Do they still make these?

Taking a step out of the hole today. Nice to see you.

Anonymous said...

Yes I remember the feeling of snow sneaking in between my gloves and my coat as a kid and cold, red wrists. This seems like a great solution!

JoyMama said...

datri - I haven't quite figured out how the bodysuits will intersect with toilet training. They don't lend themselves well to potty independence since they've got that barrier quality, and also once you get them unsnapped they kind of dangle unless you tuck them up. Still. It does help us keep the brown pebbles from untimely escape...

mom2rebels - welcome, and I'm glad the L-Bow thought might be useful!

mama edge - yeah, they still do snap-crotch leotards, in nylon-spandex-y kinds of material of course. Or certain styles of lingerie (snap-Roylies?) Dunno why they can't do comfy cotton in the larger sizes. But of course, Nadia didn't wear cotton.

blackknightsbrood - there are so many cool clever-parent products out there these days! :-)

jess wilson said...

we are ALWAYS fighting snow at the wrists! love that idea.

Anonymous said...

great to know about the 5T onesies! thanks, joymama. we stopped using them when the 4T's no longer fit, but the onesie might be a solution to the night-time "digging."

love the elbow mittens.