Archive for My Store

Breast Pump Rentals


Mom and Pop Place is proud to be able to offer moms several options for Breast Pump Rentals.

medela symphony

 

The Medela Symphony is a hospital-grade double electric breast pump.  It is the same breast pump used in the hospitals here in the Fox Valley.  It can be rented for $65 per month with a $65 security deposit.  Each mother will also need her own Accessory Kit (tubes, membranes, connectors, etc).  If she is pumping in the hospital, she will have received all the parts necessary to use the Symphony Pump.  If any parts are missing, she will need to purchase her own Kit for $59.99.  The Kit for the Medela Pump In Style will not work for the Medela Symphony.

 

Hygeia Enjoye LBIThe Hygeia Enjoye is a commercial-grade double electric breast pump.  It is very similar to the Medela Pump In Style, but it is a “closed-system”,  designed to be safely used by multiple users.  It can be rented for $40 per month with a $40 security deposit.  Each mother will also need her own Acccessory Kit (tubes, valves, connectors, etc).  The Kit can be purchased for $49.99.  If a mother has a Kit for the Medela Symphony or the Medela Pump In Style, it may work for the Hygeia Enjoye.

The Hygeia Enjoye is also offered as part of our Rent-To-Own program!  If a mother rents a Hygeia Pump, half of her rental fees ($20 per month) can be applied towards the purchase of a brand-new Hygeia Enjoye Breast Pump.

 

Which pump should I choose?

The Hygeia Enjoye is a high-quality double pump. It has 2-phase cycling (let-down and expression), excellent suction, and a very reliable motor.   It runs on a rechargeable battery and does not require access to electricity.  It comes with a lightweight fabric bag.   It is the  most affordable and it will serve the needs of most pumping moms.  It is the only rental pump that qualifies for the Rent-To-Own Program.

The Medela Symphony is hospital-grade double pump.  It has the highest quality motor and suction available.  It is the pump that most closely mimics the suction of a baby at the breast.  For mothers of babies that have not yet latched correctly at the breast or mothers who are working at inducing or increasing their milk supply, the Symphony may be the best choice.  Also, many mothers have already used the Symphony in the hospital.  If they already have an Accessory Kit and they already feel comfortable with the pump, the Symphony may be a good choice.  The Symphony comes with a heavy-duty plastic carrying case and requires access to electricity.

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We Heart Hygeia!


         Let us count the ways……….hygeia logo

1.  Hygeia Pumps are eco-friendly,

safe, multi-user pumps! 

An estimated two million breast pumps are purchased every year! Almost all of them are designed to be used by one mom, and to be thrown away after a year or less of use. The leading breast pump manufacturers have designated these pumps as single-user devices, which means that these pumps should not be shared between mothers.  Even with replacement tubing and shields, the pump motors are “open” and can never be truly cleaned or sterilized.  Major pump manufacturers have the technology to make their pumps safe for use by multiple mothers.  But, they insist that you buy a brand new pump. 

All Hygeia Breast Pumps are “closed system” and are designed for safe reuse between mothers when each has their own Personal Accessory Set (PAS). They feature a unique filter that is designed to block any bacteria, viruses and fluid from entering the pump or causing cross contamination.  All the parts that touch a mother or her milk are part of her personal accessory set.

 

2.  Hygeia is a “Code-Compliant” Company.

 Thirty years ago, the World Health Organization adopted The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.  The purpose of The Code is to protect breastfeeding by limiting advertisements that idealize artificial feeding supplies and formula.  We all know that formula, bottles/nipples, and Breast Pumps are very important tools for infant feeding.  The Code doesn’t limit the sale of these items; only how they’re marketed.  Basically, you can’t promote formula or feeding bottles/nipples directly to moms, or do free giveaways, or even put them these items on sale!  That is considered inappropriate promotion.

It seems like a small thing, but the WHO Code is all we have to protect breastfeeding.  It has made a world of difference in the 30 years since it was enacted.  But, some companies have started advertising and promoting their nipples and bottles and even claiming in ads that pumping/bottle-feeding is “best for mom”.  These violations of The Code are a big slap in the face to the breastfeeding community. When a large and popular Breast Pump Manufacturer openly states that it will not abide by these marketing standards, it undermines The Code completely.  We are so happy to learn that Hygeia is a Code-Compliant Company.  It takes The Code seriously and does everything in its power to protect and normalize breastfeeding.  We like that.  J

We will continue to offer products from other Breast Pump Manufacturers.  Their pumps and their accessories are good quality, reliable products.  In order to truly serve breastfeeding moms in our area, we will continue to offer the high-quality pumps and accessories that they need.  But, we are proud to be able to offer them another option as well!

3.  Hygeia makes wicked good pumps!

Hygeia breast pumps provide proven performance and feature the same robust construction found in hospitals. Their three-year warranty is one of the longest on the market. Investing in a top-quality Hygeia Breast Pump is a particularly good option when you’re planning to have more children or to share your Breast Pump with friends/family members who have their own personal accessory sets.   And Hygeia Enjoye Breast Pumps only cost between $229 and $299!

Hygeia Enjoye LBI All pumps feature:

  •   100% BPA and DEHP Free Parts
  •    Hygeia Total Compatibility Guarantee
  •    3 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  •    Recycling Program
  •    Hygeia CARE Button (record baby’s sounds to encourage  let-down!)
  •    Independently Adjustable Speed & Suction Controls
  •    Double or Single Pumping
  •    Closed Milk Collection System
  •    FDA Approved As Multi-user Pump
  •    Personal Accessory Set (all the tubing, valves, filters, etc)
  •    Optional Internal Lithium Ion Battery (for 4 hours of cordless pumping!)
  •    Optional Tote Bag and Cooler Pack

4.  Hygeia Pumps are available for Rental or Rent-To-Own!

We are excited to be able to offer the Hygeia Enjoye for rental.  The Rental Fee is just $40 (plus a $40 Security Deposit).  Each mother will also need to have her own Personal Accessory Set.  Renting is easy and we will keep your information on file to automatically renew your Rental each month.

The most exciting part?  Our new Rent-To-Own Program!  If you are unsure how breastfeeding or pumping is going to work out for you or whether you need to invest in a Breast Pump of your own, you can rent a Hygeia Breast Pump on a trial basis.  If you decide you would like to purchase a Breast Pump of your own, you will be able to apply half of your paid Rental Fees towards the purchase of a new Hygeia pump! 

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SPF 101


Time to talk sunscreen!  We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about sun protection.  I guess summer really snuck up on us.  In March……

Anyway, everyone is looking for the sun protection that will be safest for their little one.  It is often assumed that you should NOT use sunscreen on babies under 6 months.   But, the American Academy of Pediatrics now states that sunscreen is probably safe to use on younger children, especially if you just use it on small areas of your baby’s skin that are exposed to the sun and not protected by clothing, such as the infant’s hands and face.   The issue with sunscreens (and really any body-care product) is that baby’s skin absorbs chemicals so well and their bodies are so tiny, they get a larger “dose” of sunscreen than we do as adults.  Also, they put everything in their mouth.  At the beach, they will be eating sand, chewing on driftwood, and sucking on their hands and feet.  And ingesting a little dose of whatever sunscreen we slathered them with.   So, we have to be thoughtful with we are “dosing” them with.

There are two main types of sunscreen.  Chemical sunscreens work by soaking into your skin and absorbing the UV rays.  Their active ingredients can include Octinoxate, Avobenzone,  etc.   Physical sunscreens work by sitting on top of your skin and scattering the UV rays.  Their active ingredients usually include Titanium dioxide (TiO2) or Zinc oxide (ZnO).

Many people feel more comfortable with physical sunscreens for their babies and children.  In fact, almost all sunscreen specifically branded as “baby” or “kid” are physical sunscreens containing Zinc oxide or Titanium dioxide.  These ingredients are absorbed less through the skin.  They are potentially less toxic than other ingredients.  Also, they are more “visible” on the skin and make it harder to “miss a spot”.

I also think it is important to pay attention to the “inactive ingredients” in sunscreens as well.  Be aware of what preservatives, fragrances, creams, etc are being used.  These are all ingredients that will be absorbed and/or ingested.  Along with all that sand…….. I like to look at ingredient lists and understand most of what I am reading.  I know I’m not a chemist.  I probably won’t understand everything.  Or be able to pronounce anything.  And, really, everything is a chemical.  Water is a chemical.  Olive oil is a chemical.  But they’re pretty natural chemicals.

At Mom and Pop Place, we carry physical sunscreens for kids from Kiss My Face.  They are natural, fragrance-free, SPF 30, water-resistant, and pretty darn safe.  They contain Zinc Oxide and Titanium dioxide to scatter UV rays.  They also contain things like sunflower seed oil, green tea leaf extract, carrot root extract, and mango seed butter.  They do NOT contain PABA, phthalates, artificial colors, or sodium benzoate*.

So, protect your little one as best you can.  The best sunscreen is common sense.  Stay in the shade, get a wide-brimmed hat, avoid the high-noon rays.  When you decide to use a sunscreen, do a little research to find one you like.   Find a company you trust.  Read the ingredients list.  If something concerns you, look it up.  Ask your friends.  Ask us.  Then go outside!

 

*Did you say “sodium benzoate”?  I’m glad you asked!  That reminds me………we no longer carry any products from California Baby.  Sad, because they used to be our go-to source for safer sunscreens.  But they started changing their ingredients and their formulas.  And not being totally up front about it.  They added the preservative sodium benzoate to several of their products.  That, by itself, would not have been enough for them to lose our business.  Many products need preservatives.  Most people have no problem with sodium benzoate.  But some people do.  And when people started asking California Baby about their formula changes, they were not up-front about it.  They were not respectful of their loyal customers.  They completely disregarded the small (non-Target) companies that built them.  Frankly, they have always been a nightmare to deal with on our end.  Poor customer service, slow ship times, lost orders, no way to reach a real-live-actual person in their office………….but they were California Baby.  Our customers loved their stuff.  We love our customers.  We felt we could at least trust their products whether we liked their office staff or not.  But, when I read the “dialogue” on their Facebook page about the formula changes (which they have now deleted), my choice was pretty clear.  Goodbye California.  Thanks for asking……

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Who’s Who of Boobs


I’m here at the Annual WALC conference in Appleton.  WALC is the Wisconsin Association of Lactation Consultants.  Their conference is the annual gathering of breastfeeding professionals from all over the state (plus a little Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois) right here in Appleton.  To talk about babies and breasts.  Lactation Consultants, RNs, MDs, WIC Counseors, LLL Leaders……..it’s a veritable Who’s Who of Boobs.  And me.

This is maybe my 5th year attending the conference.  I started attending when I was a La Leche League Leader.  At the time, I was in waaaaaay over my head.  It’s a technical conference.  Packed with really smart, really experienced professionals.  I was afraid they’d figure out what a poser I was.  But I learned SO much.  And I left completely fired up over lactation.  I was ready to conquer the world, one nursing mom at a time.  The speakers were so inspiring.  They still are.  Many of them are authors and doctors that I feel like I “know” from their writing and their advocacy.  Lactational Celebrities……..It’s great to hear them speak in person.   (At a different conference, I met Jack Newman.  I love Jack Newman.  So much.  Everyone was having him sign their copy of his latest book.  I didn’t have the book with me.  But I was SO tempted to whip out ……something else….. for him to sign.  SO close.  And I bet he would have done it…..)

I digress.

My exhibit/temporary-home/schmooze station.

Anyway, I love this conference.  Each year has a new highlight.*  I now attend as an exhibitor.  I set up a booth for Mom and Pop Place and I get to show off all the products we offer for breastfeeding, baby wearing, diapering, teething, playing and more!  I get to schmooze all the breastfeeding professionals in the state and (hopefully) convince them how awesome my store is.  I love this conference because it’s a chance to see so many people that I only get to see once a year!  LLL Leaders I used to work with, LCs that refer clients to me, nurses from all over the state.  Our paths sometimes never cross in person, except here at WALC.  We dish about what’s going on at their hospital or on their unit.  We talk about all the new products and services I have.  They suggest useful products I might consider bringing in for their clients.  It’s like a big Boob Reunion.  I even get to chat with the “Other Adria”.  The Adria from Madison who works in lactation.  We were both LLL Leaders at the same time for a  few years.  The existence of 2 Adrias in LLL seemed to blow people’s minds.  We got a lot of each other’s mail and messages.  Now, we have a nice name-bond that we get to renew once a year at WALC!

It’s a big conference this year, about 300 attendees!  It breaks down as about 294 women and 6 men.  Of the 6 men, one is usually a speaker and one is the AV guy.  Usually, we close down the men’s bathroom and take it over for ourselves.  This time, there is another conference in the facility and we had to let them use the men’s bathroom.  Let me tell ya, 12 stalls is not enough for 296 tea-drinking women of child-bearing age with a 15 minute bathroom break.

But, I digress.  Again.

I love this conference.  I sell a bunch of stuff.  I talk to old friends.  I hear amazing speakers.  I still leave fired up to change the world, one nursing mom at a time.

 

*Highlight:  When we’re in the middle of a session on Nipple Trauma which includes an amazingly graphic slide show and the young hotel workers are trying to quietly set up the beverage service in the back of the room.  And simply hearing the word “nipple” might make them snicker, both they are surrounded by a video feed of larger-than-life pictures of bleeding breasts NO ONE wants to see.  They don’t know where to look.  It’s like the usual nursing in public dilemma.  In IMAX size.  There ain’t no Hooter Hider for that………

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Third Time Burn


Why not? Tell me. Why not?!?

So, I own an independent retail store.  And I personally choose and order all the stuff I sell.  That makes me a “Buyer”.  (I only know that because it’s what my name tag says when I go to trade shows.)  Big giant chain stores have professional Buyers.  Buying is their job.  They went to school for marketing.  They know spending trends.  They track market demographics and geographical trends and make quarterly buying decisions a year in advance blah blah blah.

I run a small independent business.  I wash dishes and balance checking accounts and shovel snow and pour whole milk into sippy cups.  When I get a chance, I do some “market research”:  I talk to moms.  I surf the web.  I talk to other business owners.  In my own way, I am a Professional Buyer.  In my years of Professional-Buyer-Awesomeness, I have learned many things.  I have learned these things in My Own Way.*

Yet, some things I apparently refuse to learn.  Ask my staff.  They almost refuse to let me go to buying shows any more.  Last time, they made me bring my mom and TWO sisters with me as a safety net.  And my team did talk me down from some seriously ill-advised new products.  There are certain products that just won’t sell.  But that I just will not give up.  So, I’m throwing this blog out there so all you readers will hold me accountable.  I need to stop buying…….

1. Shoes (specifically SeeKaiRun)

2. Clothing (specifically Zutano)

3. Diaper Bags (specifically ANY)

There I said it.  These things do not sell. At least not in my store.  No matter how much I want them to sell.  No matter how awesome they are.  No matter how pretty they look against my brick wall.  I can’t sell them.  Professional Buyers learn their lessons the first time.  I learn my lessons the third time.  (The “charmed” time, if you will.) Why don’t they sell?  They don’t sell because my customers are thrifty and they are smart.  My store is not a boutique or a high-end registry store.  My store is more like a hardware store.  I pride myself in having really useful, really high-quality, really important baby products.  I stock things that moms tend to buy for themselves, because they need them.  And they know it.  You people are thrifty.  And you are smart.  Smarter than me, apparently.  If you want fancy expensive clothes and designer diaper bags, you will find them in Excellent Used Condition on Craigslist.  I love that about you.  You people use cloth diapers, for goodness sake!  You don’t want $45 booties for your pre-walker.  I know this.  But I forget…….

OMG!!!!!!!!! LOVE!!!!!!!!

I came home from the last trade show with a huge order for Newborn clothes from Zutano and a strong (but unconvincing) argument for why THIS time would be different from the first time.  And second time. That we got burned on Zutano.  Dang, I love Zutano.  SO SO SO cute.  And, when you go to the trade shows, their booth is so pretty and colorful and welcoming and they play nice music and they serve ham and brie crostini and brew espresso right there for you and offer you a chair and you’re so tired from walking and…………..see what I mean?   They get me every time.  I love Zutano.  You love Zutano too.  But you don’t come in to Mom and Pop Place to buy Zutano.  You need Snot Suckers and giant nursing bras.  That’s cool.  We’re not a fancy boutique.  We don’t want to be a fancy boutique.  We want to offer useful, quality products we can vouch for.  I can vouch for Zutano.  That stuff is adorable and solid.  It will last you through 14 children.  You will cry over the cuteness.  But the outfit is $56.  You will also cry over the price.  I can’t, in good conscience, suggest to your mother-in-law that she buy you that size 0-3 month outfit for $75, when I really think she should get you a Moby and a Sophie Giraffe.

Sigh.

You should ask my staff about SeeKaiRun shoes.  I love those shoes.  But, like I said, third time’s a charm.  Or a curse.  If you’re gonna sell $45 shoes, you have to have every size and every style and every brand.  Oh well.  We still get the catalogs.  I like to wander around the store holding the SeeKaiRun catalog to see how long it takes before a staff member rips it out of my hand.  Cute.

Diaper bags still mystify me.  I’m having a harder time letting go of diaper bags.  We should be able to sell diaper bags right?  Well we can’t.  But we should, right?  Right?!  That third time was close.  We did sell a few.  And, when we clearanced them out, they sold out in 1 day.  (See, you people are smart.  You’ll wait for the sale.)  It was the Third Time Burn………….But, since then, four people have stopped in asking about those diaper bags we used to have.  Wishing they would have bought one when they saw it.  Wondering when we will get more.

These people are not helping.  My resolve is slipping.  Maybe I need to bring back diaper bags.  Maybe THIS TIME will be different.  Fourth time’s a charm, right?

*”My Own Way” is to repeatedly buy large lots of ill-advised things on impulse only to regret them the moment that arrive by UPS and then try to talk them up on Facebook only to end up marking them 70% off and finally throwing away the remaining items just so I could stop them from taunting me from the back of the store.

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Kentucky-Fried-Baby-Show


I just got back from 4 days in Louisville for the All Baby and Child Expo!  This is the annual trade show for the juvenile product industry.  Once a year, anybody who makes, sells, or reports on baby products (all 8,000 of us) descends upon a major convention center for 4 days.  Sellers try to convince us that their products are the NextBigThing.  Buyers try to pretend that we don’t care unless they give us a steep discount.  And everyone tries to pretend that they’re there only to work and not to drink free margaritas at the Industry Reception with KC and the Sunshine Band.  This year’s show was in Louisville, Kentucky.  It was a refreshing change from the past 5 years, when the event was held in Las Vegas.  Las Vegas is……..fine.  For about 2 days.  Then it begins to slowly suck your soul and your will to live.  Which makes it hard to compare nursing bras and admire organic swaddling blankets.

So, we walked and walked and we talked and talked and we tried to learn all there was to know about new products.  We want to find you the NextBigThing.  At least 6 months before Target finds it.  (Target and I have a real love/hate thing going on).  We definitely noticed some trends.  One thing we saw a lot of was reusable training pants.  Most of the diaper companies we work with are coming out with a new training pant this season.  Some are cooler than others.  We’re most excited about the Flip Trainer coming from BumGenius.  The design is…….well…..genius: cute colors, sturdy construction, lots of size and absorbency flexibility.  Which we were excited to see.  Since we pre-ordered a whole ton of them before we even saw them.  We should be getting them before the end of the year. BumGenius also has a new All In One diaper coming out, called the Freetime.  Totally revolutionary design in an All In One.  I think it’s gonna be even awesomer than their current pocket diaper!  Which is pretty awesome.  Also, new prints and colors for all their products.  We’ll keep you posted!

Another trend we saw a lot of was Angry Birds.  On toys, on swaddle blankets, on bags.  Everybody knows babies LOVE angry birds, right?  I thought that the design trend this year was Owls.  But I guess Owls aren’t ANGRY enough.  We won’t be ordering any Angry Birds products.  But we weren’t too proud to snag up all the free Angry Birds samples we could get, for our kids.  We still did see a lot of Owls.  And robots.  Owls and robots are the  new princesses and pirates.  And that’s a trend I can get on board with.  Watch our store in the next couple months for owls and robots on clothing, baby carriers, wet bags, and more.  Can’t wait!

A big new category this year was birthing gowns.  These are beautiful nighties you can wear to the hospital when you give birth.  They have pretty bows and easy access for breastfeeding.  And snaps for dealing with IVs and the occasional “back-door” exam.  Tell me your thoughts on these gowns.  I think they seem like a really expensive one-time use item that’s just gonna get blood all over it.  But I can see the appeal of having something special and pretty for the most amazing day of your life.

Finally, a big trend I saw this year was FEAR.  I saw all these products preying on the fears of new parents.  There was a heavy, metallic belt for moms to wear over their pregnant bellies to protect their fetus from radiation.  Not nuclear-power-plant-radiation, but sending-your-husband-a-text-message radiation.  They had a larger than life picture of a mom using a cell phone RIGHT NEXT TO HER PREGNANT BELLY.  Terrifying, right?  We also saw a bumper for pregnant bellies.  A big padded belt to protect your pregnant belly from………..banging into things, I guess.  First of all, unless you’re a kick-boxer, how much trauma does your pregnant belly take?  Also, how many of you actually want to add MORE padding to your pregnant silhouette?  We saw a sort of medic-alert badge for pregnant moms.  Something you can wear to let medical professionals know that you’re pregnant if you’re unconscious for some reason.  Not really a terrible product, but the marketing showed a woman jogging and wearing her magic-pregnant-badge.  Implying that, if you’re active during pregnancy, you’re gonna somehow end up unconscious, and the medics will do something terrible to your unborn baby.  And you might not be wearing your belly bumper……..  Another entry in the category of reasonable-product-with-terrifying-marketing was a rescue sack for lowering babies out of burning or evacuated buildings.  I can see the rationale for this product.  The unnerving thing was that the exhibit for the product featured a larger-than-life graphic of a baby being thrown out the window of a burning building.  I assume that it was photoshopped.  I’m gonna just have to believe that……….

All in all, it was a fantastic show.  We had so much fun meeting new people and seeing old friends.  There are so many amazing new products out there that we can’t wait to share with you.  We saw and ordered new items that we are REALLY excited about!  In the next weeks, we’ll be announcing entire new lines of high-quality nursing bras, cold weather baby gear, newborn clothing, diapers, training pants, nursing pillows, toys, car seat covers, art supplies, diaper bags, and more!

We promise to tell you all the details as the products arrive.  But, we don’t want anyone to steal ALL our ideas.  🙂

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Wall of Fame


Breastfeeding:

Good for the whole world.

Look at all these beautiful people who benefited from breastfeeding!

☻Babies who are healthier, whether they breastfed one time or one million times…..

☻Moms who have less risk of cancer or osteoporosis thanks to breastfeeding…..

☻Dads who missed less work thanks to their healthy breastfed kids…..

☻Children who might not have been breastfed themselves, but who are healthier thanks to their healthy breastfed siblings and classmates…..

☻Moms who are happy and proud because they did the best they could to give their babies the best start in life, even if they couldn’t breastfeed as long as they wanted…..

☻Families who saved thousands of dollars on the cost of formula….

☻Citizens who live on a cleaner planet thanks to a totally waste-free form of infant feeding…..


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