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The Birth Partner - A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions

The Birth Partner – A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin is the quintessential birthing book for labor companions.  I read mine from cover to cover before each of my kids were born.  I loved it and here’s why.  I’m the type of father that wants to be involved as much as possible.  Do I trust the hospital to deliver my baby in the best way possible?  Not quite.  I trust the hospital to 1) follow their rulebook to avoid lawsuits, 2) manage labor & delivery to be profitable first, and 3) be as efficient as possible with doctors’ and nurses’ time, and finally 4) deliver babies safely within their guidelines.  The hospital’s primary focus is (sadly) not my best interest.  They are a company with profits and losses and will be run as such.  It’s my responsibility to look out for myself and my family first anyhow.  To do that, I need to understand something that all men fear, labor.  (Sorry for the diatribe, but it ties into why I liked The Birth Partner so much.)

In the interest of self-preservation (and wife-preservation), I wanted details on the birth process.  For me, it’s comforting to demystify a situation as much as possible before confronting it (and in this case the situation is the labor and delivery room).  TBP is a reference book dense with childbirth information and gave me the details to ready myself for Steph’s childbirthing.  Note that this is not an easy reading Harlequin romance novel.  Some dads (or other partners) may get overwhelmed and toss the book on the shelf.  Others, like myself, revel in having so much information in one place…and want to sleep with it under our pillow.

I know that birth partners come in all different types.  The amount of involvement from a partner during labor differs substantially and depends upon the comfort level and relationship of the partner towards the mother-to-be.  My wife pushed two human beings out of her body for us.  The least that I could have done is be knowledgeable enough to support her as best I could.  So, I took the boy scout approach to childbirth and prepared myself for the delivery room (mostly by catching watermelons and slapping myself in the face), but also by studying up on the subject.  My philosophy was “Give me all the information so I can deliver a baby in the back seat of a car, if I have to.”  (With as fast as our second one came, a third child may very well get that opportunity.)

Now for the material.  It starts out talking about what goes on in the last few weeks of pregnancy.  The aches, pains, and signs that a birth partner should always be on the lookout for.  It includes all the basic things that you should be thinking about doing and packing before the trip to the hospital.  The crux of TBP is dedicated to the actual labor and delivery.  The signs of pre-labor, how to understand contractions, dilation, and all the stages of labor are laid out and organized well.  (I had to re-read this section a few times.  It was pretty dense.)  As well as the normal labor scenarios, this section also talks about complications of labor and what you can do as a partner, should they arise.  The third section of the book is dedicated to the possible tests and medical interventions that can take place at the hospital.  This section is important.  Personally, I had a huge issue with the hospital staff that were involved with our first baby’s birth.  They had wanted to perform quite a few (unnecessary) medical tests during my son’s birthing.  Had I not known about the medical equipment and intervention techniques used, I would not have been able to make an informed (and what I thought was safe) decision on what to do.  I felt confident in my knowledge and valuable in protecting my wife (and baby’s) health.  The final section is about the postpartum period.  It mainly discusses the first few days after delivery and breastfeeding.  It’s a short section and just gives some practical tips for coping with a new baby.

Below is a partial list of material found in The Birth Partner

Section 1 (Before the Birth) – perineal massage, tracking fetal movements, birth plan, phone list of important contacts, things to take to the hospital, baby supplies

Section 2 (Labor & Birth) – signs of labor, what to do if water breaks, prelabor signs, timing contractions, when to go to the hospital, how to act during labor, techniques to comfort the mother,

Section 3 (Medical Side) – group B strep, ultrasound, nonstress test, IV fluids, fetal monitoring, fetal scalp monitoring, fetal pulse oximetry, rupturing membranes, induction, episiotomy, vacuum extraction, foreceps delivery, complications to mother, pain medication during labor, cesarean, VBAC, postpartum aches and pains.

Section 4 (After the Birth) – baby exam, circumcision, postpartum depression, planning for the first few months, breastfeeding

In conclusion, I could go on in detail about what Simkin has compiled in TBP, but this review would be overly long.  Let me just say that this book is more geared towards those fathers, doulas, and partners that want to understand labor and want to take a very active role in supporting their laboring partner.  For those that are willing to leave every decision up to the hospital, this book would be more useful as a doorstop.  For everyone in between, this is a valuable resource to pull off the home bookshelf and answer most of the common questions a partner (as well as the future mother) would have about childbirth (in a hospital, birth center, or other).

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10_worm_ratingOverall Rating:  10 Worms

Readability:  9 Worms  (A little dense for most readers.)

Usefulness:  10 Worms

Manliness:  10 Worms  (This book tells you how to deliver a baby in the car.  That’s the instant mustache kind of manly!)

Retail Price:  $16.95

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Pros: Everything about this book.  It’s detailed, well-organized, thorough.  It has plenty of pictures to help you understand certain ideas and concepts.  It will prepare you for just about anything between the end of the prenatal period and beginning of postpartum.

Cons: Very doula centered.  I can see it being a bit dense for the more “let the professionals handle it” fathers.  If you are not into natural childbirth, this book may be too much.  Although, you could get some good information on how to naturally help the mother cope until she gets the epidural.

Things I would modify:  Nothing.

Um, I Think You'll Need More Than a Vacuum To Remove Those Spots Worm...

Um, I Think You’ll Need More Than a Vacuum To Remove Those Spots Worm…

Early on, Worm began mimicking us doing house chores.  The light bulb in our heads went off.  What if Worm was on a program to brainwash encourage him to enjoy cleaning?  How much time, money and weekend spare time would we recoup if we could train our son to clean our house!  The first step to getting Worm involved was obvious.  Give him kid’s sized tools that look and feel like their adult sized versions.

Voila!  In one conversation with the grandparents and a wave of their magic credit card, a Little Tikes Roll ‘n Pop Vac showed up at our door.  Worm was excited.  We were more excited.

With any child’s toy, a parent doesn’t want little Johnny or Susie playing with something that can maim or damage their prying little fingers and toes.  Hence, this vacuum doesn’t have any external moving parts other than the two wheels on the underside of the base.  It’s really safe for their big ideas on using their small digits.  Besides that, it patented cleaning action performs far better than the most expensive Kirby vacuum out there.  (I hope you know I’m kidding.  It doesn’t pick up anything except fairy dust and elf farts.)  Like the name suggests, the vacuum does roll and pop a bunch of little colored balls and glitter around when pushed.  It makes noise, too, which all kids love!

Even though it’s mostly plastic, this thing is built tough.  That’s one thing I really like about the product.  My son is pretty careful with toys, so he will probably never test the limits of the Roll ‘n Pop’s durability.  The colors are pretty gender neutral.  Plus, there is a neat little hand vac for kids that have a serious cleaning streak in them and can’t stand not to leave any nook or cranny unclean.

The Worm is about 34 inches tall and you can see how he compares to the size of the vacuum.  (He is a little over the 1.5 years old minimum age recommendations listed by Little Tikes.)

The real question is “Does he use it?”.  Not really.  When I put it in the middle of the living room, he’ll push it for a minute or so.  He never looks at ease maneuvering it around and in most cases, he will drag it away backwards to make space for his other toys.  Sometimes he flips the switch and expects it to turn on (like my vacuum), but nothing happens.  That’s when he gives me the look of “Dude, WTF?  It’s broken.” and puts it away.

Overall, the vacuum is a decent buy.  The price is right for the Roll ‘n Pop Vac.  I wouldn’t pay more for it.  If the handle tilted down and there were two more wheels on it, I think my boy would play with it more and get the joy out of vacuuming the house that his father does.  Though with any toy, it’s hard to guess what one child likes and another child dislikes.  I know mine is a clever little man at 21 months of age and he knows it’s not quite like my Dyson.  So in our case, we may need to take a shot at something a little more functional…or give up on our ‘free housecleaning forever’ dream.

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6_worm_ratingOverall Rating:  6 Worms

Ease of Use: 3 Worms  (It’s a bit awkward to push around.)

Performance:  7 Worms  (The balls roll and pop around inside the vacuum when pushed…so I guess it performs as described.)

Features:  5 Worms  (It basically just rolls and pops.)

Durability:  10 Worms  (It’s solid.)

Manliness:  7 Worms  (Times have changed ladies.  Vacuuming is definitely manly.)

Retail Price:  $26.99

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Pros:

Sturdy.  Cute little hand vacuum detachment.

Cons:

Switch doesn’t do anything.  No front wheels on the vacuum makes it hard for kids to push around.

Things I would modify:

Make the switch buzz, blink, glow, whistle, anything.  Add more wheels so it actually rolls over the carpet…For the handheld, make it easier to roll over the carpets and couch.

Where to find:

Little Tikes Website

Birthing From Within: An Extra-ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation

Birthing From Within: An Extra-ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation

As much as Worm thinks that his mother and I are each carrying a baby in our bellies, he will see only one infant arriving here shortly.  And even though I may not be delivering a child, it is my fatherly duty to read and learn something about pregnancy, if only to help me cope with my sympathy pains.  Since I’ve only got a couple of weeks before Smush shows up, I thought I’d dust off the old books from our shelf and brush up on how to have a baby again.

I’ve got one word for this book – polarizing.  I liked the book up until the section on fathers.  I almost burned it after that.

The authors, Pam England and Rob Horowitz, give an, ahem, interesting perspective on childbirthing.  The title says it all, the extra-ordinary guide to childbirth preparation.  (For U.S. readers, this book will be considered extra-extra-ordinary.)  Birthing From Within (BFW) is not for everyone.  The litmus test should be the first two reading sections …if you can get through those 75 pages without scratching your head, staring blankly at your privates, or thinking “WTF?”, this book may bring out the repressed version of yourself and cause you to take a closer look.

I enjoy self-help books.  I really do.  BFW definitely falls into that category.  It gives tips and ideas to help a mother-to-be face her fears and learn to accept herself and her state of maternity.  It also tries to empower the pregnant mother by emphasizing that she take a more active role in the whole process.  These are very good things.  Though, the book soured as I flipped further through the pages.  Chapter after chapter, the midwives are glorified and everyone else belittled.  I started the book fairly excited about the art therapy section and exploration of the subconscious mind through drawing or sculpting.  It was the repeated horror stories and badgering of the medical professionals that was undesirable.

The wife and I have had this book since before Worm was born.  Did we read it then?  Nope.  We perused a few pages and were lost in the strange ideas that were being presented.  We felt that Birthing From Within wasn’t what we needed for our first birth.  For our first birth, we wanted details.  We felt that birthing in America required some knowledge of drugs and medical equipment.  We wanted to know all the technical details along with any surgical and non-surgical procedures that the hospital would possibly use on us.  Understanding our environment was of utmost importance.  Therefore, we felt that this book was not quite what we needed.   Do I feel like we need this book now for our second birth?  Some chapters resonate with us now that we have a little more experience.  Steph and I both know a little more about what we are looking for and what to expect.  Having some experience also allows us to weed out the things from BFW that we don’t believe to be valid anymore.  (Some of the data is 20 years old.)   Should the birthing experience value the mother as much as the baby?  Yes.  We agree with England and Horowitz.  Should the husband be a wallflower during the birth?  No, we vehemently disagree.  Are there doctors and nurses out there that will continue to push drugs and medical procedures upon a laboring mother?  Yes, but not all of them are interested in intervening during labor.  Are midwives helpful during labor and delivery?  Yes!  But, so are husbands, fathers, doctors, nurses, doulas, friends, and family.   The birth experience should involve those people that support the mother and give her strength without taking away from her focus.  Period.

Birthing From Within is a one-sided view of what a woman’s birth experience should be like and what players should be involved.  Some of the ideas are great, but others may not be as helpful.  But as there are many women in the world, so too are there books on the ‘right’ way to birth.  This book will agree with some women, but it’s strong stance makes it somewhat biased and will turn many women (and couples) off.

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4_worm_ratingOverall Rating:  4 Worms

Readability:  5 Worms

Usefulness:  4 Worms

Manliness:  3 Worms  (The section on fathers makes us out to be more harmful than helpful in the delivery room.)

Retail Price:  $19.95

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Pros: Tries to engage mothers to take an active role in their birth experience.  Works on bringing up subconscious issues about pregnancy and birth to the mother’s awareness before labor and delivery to remove any mental and emotional roadblocks that may hinder birth.  Takes a more spiritual approach rather than a technical approach to childbirth.  The section “Birthing Through Pain” is excellent.

Cons: This book is mainly focused on using art to address underlying concerns about birthing.  Lots of negative experiences are used in the book as examples.  There’s a negative tone about men “helping” in the delivery room.  It paints a picture that men should only pat their wife’s head and whisper reassurances about how well she is doing…and that more than that will probably hinder the birthing experience.  There is a lot of bashing in this book of Western medical professionals as well.  (I admit that I experienced quite a few of the bad things that hospitals add to the birth process, but some of my friends have had great experiences with doctors and nurses.)  It is a very opinionated book and some of the data presented has since changed.

Things I would modify:  Add more recent birthing data.  Add more positive birth stories.  Reflect multiple birth stories from various points of view.  Respect that fathers (and husbands) are sometimes a mother’s most intimate confidant and that they may be willing to fully submerge themselves in the birth experience, rather than being there just to hold back mother’s hair in the delivery room.

Badger Basket Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox With Two Bench Seats

Badger Basket Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox With Two Bench Seats

Whoa, what a long name!  I got the Badger Basket (<–Brand) Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox With Two Bench Seats (<–Description) as a Christmas gift from Uncle Faldo.  He figured that since our little badger Worm liked to dig in the sand, a box would be suitable to both encourage and contain his excavating activity.  The package came partially assembled with a bag of 50 screws, yes 50.  Though, you should be able to put it together in about 20 minutes using a Phillips screwdriver and a couple extra biceps.  I’m telling you now so you’re not surprised, the sandbox doesn’t come with sand.  So you either have to grind down some local rocks and coral or steal a couple buckets worth from the closest beach.

The Badger Basket Cedar sandbox is made from, well, cedar!  Cedar wood is great for use outdoors because of its bacterial and fungal resistance.  (And you thought your grandmother’s cedar toilet seat was just tacky…little did you know it served a higher purpose!)  Cedar is also unpalatable to many insects.  Therefore, it should last a quite a while outdoors.  Worm hasn’t started to use his sandbox yet, since it has been a bit chilly here.  I will break it out in the next few months and let time tell us how long it survives in the California sun.

The enclosed instructions are fairly straightforward, but the writing isn’t as clear as it could be for the normal person (for example, instead of writing “20 – 50mm screws”, you get a bunch of symbols and strange technical notation).  I also think it would have been nice to have the screws sorted into separately labeled bags, but maybe the profit margin would have been destroyed with two extra plastic bags on the bill of materials.  Although this is our first sandbox, I feel that the build quality of this cedar sandbox is pretty poor.  For the price, I would expect that durable screws and hinges would be used.  This sandbox provides neither.  The screws are such low quality that I had one break while slowly screwing it into the pre-drilled hole.  The hinges that flap open the box are extremely low quality and will bend upon installation.  I would expect these issues on a sandbox 1/3 the price, not on something in this price range.  The idea of Worm delicately opening and closing anything in our house is probably about 17 years away…and hopefully by that time, he won’t be still living off of us and not paying rent playing in our sandbox anymore!

Right out of the shipping package, the Badger Basket sandbox comes partially assembled.  The six hinges are installed on one side of the unit.  Some of the wood slats are already screwed into place.  On my unit, 4 of the pre-assembled wood plank screws were stripped and 8 of the pre-assembled hinge screws were stripped.  Obviously, someone was using a power drill in the warehouse and was either nursing a hangover during my poor sandbox’s assembly or he was letting the shop dog hold the drill.  (I’m all for putting animals to work, but sometime the lack of opposable thumbs make for manufacturing quality control issues.)

Overall, this is a very nice looking sandbox.  The parts could definitely be higher durability, especially at this price range.  I like the fact that it is made of wood and my backyard won’t completely look like an extension of Worm’s toy closet.  It’s big enough (46.5 inches L x 46.5 inches W x 9.5 inches H) for both him and Smush to sit and play for hours (should she be forced to wish to spend quality time with her big brother).  The lid will be useful in keeping the neighborhood cats from using it as their community litter box.  I’m looking forward to Worm getting a lot of use out of this sandbox and I only hope it’s up to the challenge of being beaten, dragged, kicked and stomped on.

This will be an ongoing review.  Updates will be added later.

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Overall Rating:  5 Worms

Ease of Use: 7 Worms  (Easy to open and close.)

Performance:  _ Worms  (I attribute this to quality and I haven’t gotten enough use out of it to rate.)

Features:  5 Worms  (At this price, I would expect either more features or better parts.  I got neither.)

Durability:  3 Worms  (Hardware was cheap and flimsy.)

Manliness:  8 Worms  (I felt pretty manly putting it together!)

Retail Price:  $159.99

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Pros:

Very nice looking.  The benches support 200 lbs.  I’ve checked it with my 160 lb body and it really seems sturdy.

Cons:

Cheap hardware included.  Poor pre-assembly at the manufacturer.  (Update April 2013:  2 months after being outside, the hardware is starting to rust.  I live in San Diego, so we don’t get much rain.  The hardware is also beginning to bend with the repeated opening and closing of the top.)

Things I would modify:

Better screws.  Better hinges.

Where to find:

Badger Basket Website – Cedar Sandbox

Babies R Us RightHeight High Chair

I’m not certain that we needed a new high chair for Worm.  The one we had worked just fine.  It was without bells and whistles but it did the job it was designed to do, provide an eating surface for the little man.  One fateful day we stopped by our local Babies ‘R Us to get a few other things and a plush new high chair found its way into our basket.  Maybe it was the store’s bright lights or the giant sale tags that coaxed us…or it could have been grandma’s magic purse.  Either way, we bought a Babies R Us RightHeight high chair and put our old one out to pasture.

The RightHeight can be assembled fairly easily.  Parts just snap into place and there are only two screws in the whole design.  After assembly, I gazed at my achievement and “kicked the tires” so to speak.  The whole chair wobbled.  The RightHeight high chair never feels stable, even without a little person in it.  It’s not like the chair will tip over or anything.  It just never inspires confidence.  I’m always checking to see if any part of it is broken.  Luckily, the 5-point harness will keep Worm safe inside should the thing just crumble to pieces.  (I think a 5-point harnesses would be more applicable on things that actually move, such as a car seat or stroller, not on a high chair.  But I guess if you’ve got a fast eater, you may need the extra restraints.)

The folding feature is one nice thing about this high chair.  With two hands, you can move the sliding locks down and bring the legs together.  It makes the unit take up a little less space in the house.  The only problem is that the wheels are very poorly designed and I end up just dragging or lifting the whole high chair to move it.  If you have any carpet whatsoever, the wheels will give you a hard time when you try to transport the RightHeight anywhere.  We’ve got berber carpet and I have to drag the RightHeight across it due to the poor wheel design.  Not good.

I like the ability to remove the tray with one hand or two.  I also like the ability to clip the tray to the back of the high chair when not being used.  (Although, if I don’t clean the tray before storing it on the back of the RightHeight, the dogs will do it for me.)  When installed for use, the tray never feels like it’s ever secure in the chair.  It has 4 adjustments to go from “in your face” to “get me the binoculars” distance.  Or if you’ve got one skinny kid and one portly one, you can find at least one comfortable tray position for each of them.  There’s no doubt that Worm will be able to comfortably grow with this high chair, but none of the settings makes the tray ever sit “right”.  I’m constantly wiggling it to make sure the tray won’t become a projectile if my son grabs hold of it in one of his berserker moods.

One of the features of the RightHeight high chair is a 3-position recline.  I have no idea why you would NOT want your child to sit upright and eat.  But, I guess 3-positions sounds more dazzling than 1-position and so now, baby can lie back and eat, simulating perfect couch potato posture.  Reclined eating at the dinner table is now an option.  (Back when I was a kid, slouching was bad manners at the dinner table…)

There is a 6-position chair height adjustment.  This feature is very useful.  The aptly named RightHeight does deliver a wide range of height adjustments to work with various table sizes.  It also gives us the option to have Worm eat off of the table instead of the tray.  We really like this feature as it makes Worm seem much more adult-like and proper.

The Babies R Us RightHeight high chair gets average marks all around from me.  Some of the features are good and others make you scratch your head in wonder.  I’m not sure that this chair was tested in multiple houses before it was put out on the market.  On the other hand, the Worm does like to climb into and sit in it, so there is a major comfort factor that applies to my specific case.  Getting Worm to sit and eat is less of a chore than it used to be and that is a huge benefit of the RightHeight in our household.  So, in short, it will probably remain with us until Worm’s out of college (or at least out of pre-school).

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Overall Rating:  5 Worms

Ease of Use: 5 Worms

Performance:  5 Worms

Features:  5 Worms

Durability:  5 Worms  (We’ve only used it for about 3 months now.)

Manliness:  5 Worms

Retail Price:  $99.99

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Pros:

Washable seat pad, dishwasher safe tray liner, one-handed tray removal, tray storage on unit, towel drying rack, 6-position chair height adjust,

Cons:

Wheels don’t roll over carpet well, every part of the RightHeight wobbles, two flimsy screws in the entire design (which is a bit too minimalist in this case), 5-point harness (overkill for eating)

Things I would modify:

Make wheels that actually roll on surfaces other than hard floor, use screws instead of rivets, add a more convenient handle for transport it from room to room.

Where to find:

Babies R Us

BathWriters By Alex Toys

One morning, my mom and I dropped into the local department store to give the Worm a new playground to destroy experience.  In our game of hide and seek with the Worm, we stumbled upon the BathWriters set by Alex Toys.  Cool, I thought.  Worm is starting to show interest in writing, so we thought it would make for easy cleaning if he had the whole tub to write in, on, and around!  For the price, we decided to give it a try.

BathWriters is a bath time writing set with red, blue, yellow and gold liquid markers.  It even comes with a sponge to help you clean up the mess your child leaves behind!  The liquid markers are essentially liquid soap and can be used to add more suds to the bathtub when your child has been soaking for hours.

There’s not much to expect from bath markers, but BathWriters does not clear the bar.  Being well above the 3+ age recommendations, I decided to see how well I could write with these things.  First off, the liquid soap markers are twist open.  I could do that.  Then I tried to write on the wall.  The twist off cap closed once I made contact with the bath wall tiles.  Ok, something’s wrong here.  The liquid soap filled marker needs to make contact with a surface in order to write.  Then why would anyone design a writing tool that stops writing when you push on the tip?  I couldn’t write with it and I’m 100% sure that my toddler wouldn’t be able to use the set either.

So after playing with the markers for a few minutes longer, I figured out that I could NOT write on the wall like it shows in the picture on the box.  I could only write on a horizontal surface…and I wouldn’t even call it writing.  I just squeezed the liquid soap out like a squirt bottle.

BathWriters is essentially colored liquid soap packaged in 4 individual marker shaped dispensers.  I was foolish enough to purchase these on a whim.  The packaging made me believe fantastic things would happen…like they would actually write on the bathtub walls as advertised!  Hopefully in our next game of department store hide and seek, we won’t run into these BathWriters again.

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Overall Rating:  1 Worm

Ease of Use: 1 Worm

Performance:  1 Worm

Features:  1 Worm

Durability:  1 Worm

Manliness:  1 Worm

Retail Price:  $8.95

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Pros:

Pretty box.

Cons:

Boatload of chemical ingredients that are supposed to make liquid soap.  Doesn’t write on vertical surfaces.  Liquid just pours out of the tip and doesn’t give one the opportunity to actually write.

Things I would modify:

Redesign the entire product.  There was little effort put into the actual design of this product and it shows.

Where to find:

Alex Toys Website

Target

Pampers Soft Care Wipes

Pampers diapers are pretty nice.  There have a lot of neat technology in them and they’ve been around long enough to have proven themselves.  So when we got a free package of Pampers Soft Care Wipes along with our large box of Pampers diapers, I thought we’d hit the jackpot.  (Yes, my life has sunk this low…)

I’m sad to say that these are the worst wipes I have ever used.  For instance, when I try to pull one wipe out of the package, about 5 of them come out instead.  I’m a one-handed wipe puller.  Why?  I usually have the other hand keeping the baby from squirming off of the changing table.  If the dispenser gives me trouble, that’s an automatic FAIL for a wipes container.  I can understand 2 wipes accidentally coming out, but when I’m spending my post-diaper change time stuffing a handful of Soft Care Wipes back into the package, I’m not a happy daddy.

After I get my wipe out, I try to clean up the Worm’s bottom.  Since he eats solid foods, he has solid poop…sometimes with chunks.  The Pampers wipe is so “soft” that it just glides right over the poop pieces.  Over and over again.  I know this is graphic, but you would think that a good wipe design would provide some traction for “stuff” to stick to it.  This wipe is ridiculously slimy and barely picks up anything off of Worm’s skin.  Big problem.  I like to make one or two passes and get the majority of poop off of the baby’s skin.  The less I am in contact with the toxic excrement, the better.  I’ve even had the occasional “Whoops, my hand slipped off the wipe and I almost touched poopie with my fingers!” scare.  When I can hang on to the thing, using the Soft Care wipe makes me feel like I’m doing nothing more than buffing poop into the Worm’s skin.

Lastly, I try to use the wipe on the other end of the Worm, his face.  (Of course I use a clean wipe.  Not the same dirty one!)  At 18 months of age, kids are probably still smearing crap (most of the time it’s the food type of crap) all over their little faces.  I probably wipe Worm’s face about three times a day.  As I said before, the wipes are horrible at actually taking particles off of the skin.  These wipes are so bad that after a few passes with the wipe, little threads of the fabric start floating off.  The wipe falls apart because it’s too da#n soft!  It wouldn’t be a good thing for Worm to accidentally breath one into his nose and get trapped.  Every time these little flyaways have happened, all I could think was “What if he inhaled it?”  I don’t need another thing to worry about.  Trying to figure out who is going to win this season of “So You Think You Can Dance” is enough.

I have a baby coming in January who could probably benefit from a nice soft wipe.  Will I use the Pampers Soft Care Wipes on her?  No way.  It’s horrible.

I even checked out the Pampers website to find the MSRP on these.  Nope.  They weren’t even listed.   Hmm…I wonder why?

———-

Overall Rating:  1 Worm

Ease of Use: 1 Worm

Performance:  1 Worm

Features:  5 Worms (Too bad none of the features are useful for the wipes’ intended purpose.)

Durability:  1 Worm

Manliness:  1 Worm

Retail Price:  $?

———-

Pros:

Alcohol free.  Has lotion, natural aloe, and vitamin E.  Hypoallergenic.

Cons:

Why would you want to put lotion, natural aloe and vitamin E in a wipe?  I’m not trying to moisturize poop.  Besides, they slip off of my hands when I’m wiping!

Things I would modify:

I would just trash this product and design another one.  There’s just way too many issues.

Where to find:

I have a feeling they are on clearance everywhere.  They’re not worth the money, even on double coupon day.

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