Monday, October 24, 2011

AppleCheeks 2 sized reuseable swim diaper video review!

Here is a video review I did for AppleCheeks reuseable swim diapers.. Enjoy!
              


You can purchase these swim diapers at: Bums N'beyond! (click link)

Oh Katy One size pocket cloth diaper video review!

Here is my first video review for Oh Katy one size pocket style diaper! Hope you enjoy!



You can purchase 'Oh Katy' Diapers at: Bums N'beyond!

Diva Cup review!

-Let me start this review by saying it is not for the male audience-

When I first heard about the diva cup, I was a little taken a back.. I was also a little grossed out by the idea. Then I opened my eco-friendly mom and baby boutique, and was forced to take another look at it because it is one of the most eco friendly mom products on the market. I knew that I would have to try it for myself before I could carry it in my store for other moms, or lady's out there to try.
The diva cup comes in two sizes:

Model 1: For women under 30 years old who have never delivered vaginally or by Cesarean section.

Model 2: For women over 30 years old and/or for women who have delivered vaginally or by Cesarean section.

That time of the month is not something most of us talk about often, yet it happens every-single-month.. with that said here are the benefits of using the Diva Cup:

1. It is made from safe, medical grade silicon that is known to be non-toxic for our bodies.
2. Used correctly the Diva Cup is more comfortable than tampons.
3. There is no need to carry extra supplies when you travel or are out and about.
4. There is no need to keep buying tampons or pads. Thus it will save you money!
5. No gross waste to hide or worry about clogging the toilet.
6. Good for heavy or light flows.
7. Can be safely worn for 12 hours at a time, so you spend less time worrying about it.
8. When worn correctly, No gross leakage. (I always hated the "rip-cord" on my tampons)
9. The risk of TSS (toxic shock syndrome) is virtually non existent.
10. Less odor. Seriously.. smells and feels fresher.
11. Did I mention how comfortable it is??

It did take me a few trys to know how to tell if the Diva Cup was correctly situated. You will quickly learn that if it doesn’t feel right, it is not in correctly. It will feel a little uncomfortable if it’s not placed correctly.

The Diva Cup is not for the squeamish. If you are not comfortable with the idea of using an applicator free tampon, chances are you won’t be comfortable with the Diva Cup.

You will be rinsing out your cup, again this is not for the faint of heart.

The instructions will tell you to rotate the Cup one full circle. When you do this it becomes leak free and comfortable. If you don’t  do this, there is a chance you might have a leak.
You will NEED to wash the cup with a non toxic safe soap – Diva Wash is perfect for this.

Diva cup retails for around 39.99 and can be used month after month.

The Diva cup can be purchased at: Bums N'beyond! (click link)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Moms Advise Magazine

Hello all! Moms Advise Magazine is an amazing online Magazine and community for moms. It is run by my good friend Shea Anne who is a stay at home (or I guess work at home now) Mom of 2 beautiful babies under the age of 2! She is the sweetest, kindest person I know, and has worked very hard putting together events and this magazine so that moms like us have an amazing support base.

Ok, so now for the goods, I will give away 1 Grovia shell in either blue or pink to 1 lucky winner!

All you have to do is...

**********CLOSED***********
-Head over and "Like" Moms Advise magazine. And tell her that Maternal Instincts sent you!

**Please leave a comment here letting me know that you have done this with your email address, and I will pick a winner in about a week.. THANK YOU!**

Open to USA and Canada Only.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

And the Winner Is....

Drum roll please......



              ~MEL aka  mjudge83 !! ~
You are the winner! You have won a 25.00 GC to AppleCheeks, and Oh Katy Diaper in your choice of color and a 10.00 GC to BumsNbeyond! I will email you to get your information! Thank you to all who participated, and stay tuned for more giveaways soon!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Blogtastic Extravaganza 2.0!

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So Far I have 3 confirmed sponsors! The WINNER will get a $10.00 Gift Card to BumsNbeyond, their choice in color of Oh Katy Pocket Diaper, & a $25.00 Gift card to AppleCheeks !! Wow!

BumsNbeyond is the Eco-friendly, Chic Mom & Baby Boutique! They carry lots of Cloth Diapers, Wet Bags, Baby Carriers, and more! They are run by a Military family  & offer a 10% military discount everyday!  Like them on Facebook here: BumsNbeyond Facebook Page. 

                                
~Oh Katy is a one size pocket diaper that comes in 9 cheerful colors. Get a head-start and be sure to "Like" Oh Katy Facebook, and tell her thanks from Maternal Instincts !!

~AppleCheeks is a 2 size pocket cloth diaper system, and is a breakthrough in reusable diapering. Be sure to "like" AppleCheeks on Facebook: AppleCheeks Page, and tell them Maternal Instincts sent you!!
******CLOSED******
Mandatory Entry:  
+1 Follow Maternal Instincts via Google Friend Connect. (I will check..)

-Make sure to leave your email address for EACH comment you leave!-

Extra Entries:
+1 Like Bums N'beyond  on facebook and thank them for the giveaway.

+1 Like AppleCheeks on facebook and thank them for the giveaway.

+1 Like Oh Katy on facebook and thank them for the giveaway.
-Contest ends @ 10:59 pm PST on August 21st- Open to USA.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

~Bambo Nature Diapers Review & GIVEAWAY!

***CLOSED! WINNER:  Andie (Goodbye Disposable, Hello Cloth) You have 48hours to respond or another winner will be chosen***

When I made the switch to cloth diapers, I swore I would never turn back to disposables. There was no way I could put my baby in a diaper containing potentially harmful substances, nor did I want to destroy our environment. Our family has a big trip coming up and we will be out of town, staying at a hotel for 4 days. To top it off we will be driving the 6 hours each way to our destination. This was freaking me out because I had no idea how we would get through 4 days by using only cloth, when there would be nowhere to wash the diapers and frankly my stash is not very big. Then at a recent event for a friend’s magazine launch party, I met the owner of the USA division for Bambo Nature Diapers. We chatted a bit about the pros and cons of cloth and disposable’s. He went on to tell me about how Bambo Diapers are the ONLY certified eco-label baby diaper in the world, and how the only part of the diaper that is not compostable is the small pull-tab. It has no harsh chemicals, and even their facilities are environmentally friendly. They are the only diaper to have been awarded the very prestigious Nordic Swan Eco-Label.

I was extremely intrigued. I had to try this diaper out for myself. I was given a bag of Bambo diapers. I am very impressed. Right out of the bag, there is a noticeable difference. They are so much softer than disposables, and they don’t have that crunchy sound! The size 3 also has a super cute monkey design on it too. I decided to try them out for overnight in preparation of our family trip. One of the things I love about cloth is my baby hardly ever has leaks at night time, unlike when we used the disposables. I was amazed in the morning, No leaks. I wanted to take it a step further, and see if I squeezed the diaper over my toilet how much would leak out. I had to squeeze VERY hard to make a few drops come out. These diapers also have a wet-ness indicator, so there is no confusion on whether or not your baby needs a diaper change. I don’t know how many times Grandma has changed an empty diaper.


I did some research to find out how these compare in price to other diapers.
- Bambo Natural size 1 bag of 28- 10.50 comes to .37 cents a diaper.
-Seventh Generation size 1 bag of 44- 10.99 comes to .25 cents a diaper.
-Huggies Natural size 1 bag of 33 – 11.99 comes to .36 cents a diaper.

I love using my cloth diapers, and will do so until my babies are potty-trained, but I will defiantly be keeping a few bags of these great diapers around for days that it is more practical for our family (like our upcoming trip). These are also great for the mommas that simply do not want to cloth for whatever that reason may be. This is a great way to use disposables guilt-free. The extra cost of these diapers is defiantly worth it in my opinion, especially as I will only be using them on occasion.

Giveaway TIME!! One LUCKY person will WIN their very own package of Bambo Nature Diapers in the size of their choice!

Mandatory Entry:  
+1 Follow Maternal Instincts via Google Friend Connect. (I will check..)

-Make sure to leave your email address for EACH comment you leave!-

Extra Entries:
+1 Like Bambo Nature Page on facebook and thank them for the giveaway.
+1 Visit Bambo Nature Site and tell me which size you will choose if you win.
+2 Post about the giveaway on Facebook page tagging Maternal Instincts including a link to the giveaway - MAKE SURE TO STATE THE GIVEAWAY IS ON A BLOG & include link to it - can be done daily
-Contest ends on June 21st @ 11:59 pm PST Open to USA.
*This post was written for Bambo Nature Diapers who provided the complimentary product for review & giveaway in exchange for my honest opinions..

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Top 3 Beauty Secrets!

Okay I used to be a model. I did all sorts of modeling; editorial, fashion, swimwear, beauty, runway, and maternity. Over the years I have learned many tips and tricks; here are my top 3:

1.       (This is the MOST important tip, so pay close attention) Ask most ‘supermodels’ what their secret is and they will tell you …. They Drink Lots of WATER! I am talking at least 2 liters a day.. Aim for 3 if you can. Not only will this make your skin look amazing, drinking this much water will make you glow and feel great (it will also help you avoid sodas).
2.       Wash off your make-up before bed. I admit I was not always the best example when it came to washing off my make-up, but then I found baby wipes! They are amazing at taking off make-up and leave your skin feeling clean and refreshed. MAC also has a make-up remover wipe for sale if you feel weird about using a baby wipe.
3.       You are what you eat. Seriously. If you eat greasy, fried crap all the time, you will look and feel like crap! I am not saying you have to give up your prized ‘ fill-in-the-blank’, but what I am saying is limit it. The majority of your food intake should be from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and natural foods. NOT processed foods. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Do not use your kids as an excuses to buy junk food and remember  If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cloth Diaper Quest Part 2: Dirties on Diapering

Okay so now you are ready to start cloth diapering, CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS and welcome to the club! You probably have chosen a few different brands to try, have done all the pre-washing that may be needed (Bamboo and hemp types need to be pre-washed several times before first use), and you are all set to go! Then you realise that your baby is going to.... GASP.... poop in your brand new beautiful cloth diapers! Well don't worry, there are several solutions to keeping your diapers stain free, and to help you clean up the messy poop. The easiest poop to clean is an exclusively breast feed baby's poop, they are completely water soluble and require no special pre-treatment or rinsing. (Another benefit to breastfeeding.) One of the most popular options for handling all other poop in a cloth diaper is a 'Diaper Sprayer'. This is a shower-head looking thing that attaches to your toilet, and literally sprays the poop off into the toilet. I personally have not bought one yet, but I have a shop sink in my laundry room to help clean messes. Also you can buy flushable diaper liners. There are several different brands that you can use such as Bummis bio-soft liners. They are flushable diaper liners that make clean up a breeze. You simply use the Bio-Soft liners to absorb the solid waste - and then you simply discard the soiled liner in the toilet and flush away the mess. They do not irritate baby's skin and are safe against their skin.

You should always wash the diapers with a cloth-diaper safe detergent such as 'Rockin Green Detergent' in cold water first to resist stains, and then followed by a hot wash to sterilize. I hang dry my diapers on a line that I made my hubby put up in the back yard. This also helps get rid of any unwanted stains; it's called "sunning".  Sometimes when I am in a rush, I will dry the diapers on low-medium heat in the dryer, but doing this all the time can wear out the elastic sooner.

Using cloth diapers really keeps the smell in a lot better than disposable diapers do. I have noticed that even when my son poops I cannot really smell it without putting my nose to his butt. (Come on moms, you know you do that sometimes too! haha)

I absolutely LOVE cloth diapering and would not go back to disposables for anything. It has almost become an addiction, picking out cute new colors/patterns to put on my baby's bum. I love seeing my boys fluffy bottom, and showing his diapers off to the neighborhood moms. Cloth diapering is a lot more fun than I could have ever imagined. I used to hate doing laundry, but now I find myself really enjoying folding and stuffing my pocket diapers (shhhh don't tell my husband!). I feel a sense of accomplishment when all my fluffy stash of cloth diapers is all neatly put away in the basket. It also feels good to know that we are doing our part to help the environment. Did I mention how cute they are?


 One last thing I would also like to point out is most disposable diapers tell you to flush the poop down the toilet before throwing them away anyway.

Monday, April 18, 2011

HappyBaby Premium Organic meals for your family!

Have you heard of HappyBaby? If not, you are going to LOVE these Organic baby food options! As a momma who likes to make her own baby food, I also like to be able to have quick, easy, and healthy organic options for on the go and traveling. This line of baby food is one of my absolute favorites!
Check out the easy, eco-friendly baby food pouches here: HappyBaby Pouches My baby absolutely loves <3 the 'Chick Chick' and the 'Broccoli, peas, and pears'. I love these because not only does my baby love the flavors of the foods, but I know that my baby is getting nothing but the best nutrition (Just like momma makes at home!).

Here is your Chance to win a case of your own HappyBaby food!

 Who:  This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.
How: You must complete the mandatory entry for any extra entries to be considered valid.
- Please provide your e-mail address on each comment. -The "+1 & +2" are how many entries you receive for completing that task.  If it says +2 you would be leaving two separate comments for that task.

Mandatory Entry:  
+1 Follow Maternal Instincts via Google Friend Connect. (I will check..)

Extra Entries:
+1 Like Maternal Instincts on facebook.
+1 Visit HappyBaby  and tell me which flavor you will choose if you win.
+2 Post about the giveaway on Facebook page tagging Maternal Instincts including a link to the giveaway - MAKE SURE TO STATE THE GIVEAWAY IS ON A BLOG & include link to it - can be done daily.
+5 Blog about the giveaway - include a link.
+1 Follow @mymaternali on twitter. 
+2 Tweet about the giveaway tagging @mymaternali  a link to the giveaway - include link - can be done daily.
 
Giveaway will end May 1st 2011 at 11:59PM PST.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Blogtastic Extravaganza 2.0!

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So Far I have 3 confirmed sponsors! The WINNER will get a $10.00 Gift Card to BumsNbeyond, their choice in color of Oh Katy Pocket Diaper, & a $25.00 Gift card to AppleCheeks !! Wow!

BumsNbeyond is the Eco-friendly, Chic Mom & Baby Boutique! They carry lots of Cloth Diapers, Wet Bags, Baby Carriers, and more! They are run by a Military family  & offer a 10% military discount everyday!  Like them on Facebook here: BumsNbeyond Facebook Page. 

                                
~Oh Katy is a one size pocket diaper that comes in 9 cheerful colors. Get a head-start and be sure to "Like" Oh Katy Facebook, and tell her thanks from Maternal Instincts !!

~AppleCheeks is a 2 size pocket cloth diaper system, and is a breakthrough in reusable diapering. Be sure to "like" AppleCheeks on Facebook: AppleCheeks Page, and tell them Maternal Instincts sent you!!
~Stay tuned for my review of these cloth diapers in my Part 2 of Cloth Diapering post!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Green Diaper Quest! (Part 1)

** Cloth Diapers are such a HUGE subject that I am going to break this post into 3 parts, so stay tuned! **


Okay so I have prided myself on becoming more eco-friendly in the last few years. I have bought re-use able grocery bags, made my own baby food (even re-used Glass jars from the store bought kind!), and I make sure I turn lights off when I leave a room. The biggest eco-friendly thing that has been looming above my head is something I have NOT wanted to think about: Cloth Diapers.

The thought of cloth diapering can be so overwhelming! There are so many choices, it can be hard to figure out where to start. Don't get me started on all the 'Pro' cloth diapering mommas out there who already have it down with their lingo (WAHM=work at home mom, who knew?) and make the rest of us look like armature's. Cloth diapering (CD) can be very intimidating, but all I know is Disposable diapers are nasty, cause rashes and are extremely bad for our earth. So I had to give it an honest try!

 There are AIO diapers (artificial intelligence?), AI2 diapers (the 2.0 version?), Pocket Diapers (they fit in your pocket?!), Pre-folds, WAHM made diapers, and the list goes on and on. Then when you finally have the different types of cloth diapers figured out, you have to decide on a brand to start with! There is Best Bottom, OhKaty, Kushies, FuzziBuns, Gdiapers, EcoBum, TruVia, BumGenius, and this list also goes on for miles and miles.

Now I understand why so many people are afraid to take the plunge, it can be so confusing!

Here are my top reason why I have decided to CD:
1. Baby's comfort. Would you want to wear plastic 24 hours a day??
2. The environment. Don't get me started about landfills. Disposables take about 500 years to decompose, and fill way to much space.
3. Cloth diapers are so much cuter! Enough said.
4. Cloth diapers really are so much cheaper. On average a person will spend over 2,000.00 to diaper a single child, and times that by how many kids you are going to have.. adds up quick! While cloth diapers range from about 150.00 to 500.00 for a full set. As a bonus you can pass CD's from one child to the next.
5. Diaper rash.
6. Convience. You will never have to make another 3 am run to the drug store for diapers again!
7. Potty training is easier and happens sooner. On average babies who wear CD's potty train sooner. Why? Well with CD's baby can feel the sensation, and therefor realises what is happening.

Here is the breakdown of what I have learned so far:
-AIO diapers- All in one diapers. These are the easiest to use, and are the most like cloth diapers. They are very trim, and can be used alone or with inserts/doubler's for additional wet-ness protection. These take the longest to dry.
-AI2/Hybrid diapers- All in two diapers. These are diaper shells or "covers" that are water proof, and have inserts that you place into the shell. Liners can be cloth re-useable or Bio-degradable/flushable.
-Pocket diapers- These are similar to AIOs but have a "pocket" that you can stuff liners into. These are convenient because you remove the liners to wash, and they dry a lot faster than the AIOs. Stuffing the diapers can be a bit tricky at first.
-Fitted diapers-  These are very similar to a disposable diaper in shape, but are not waterproof and require a separate diaper cover. They are very absorbent, but tend to be a bit bulky. These also dry very quickly.
-Pre-fold/Flat diapers-  These are what most people think of when they think about CD's. Pre-folds/Flat CD's are large rectangles that you need to fold into a diaper and pin in place. Pre-folds are considered a step up from Flats and come in different sizes. A cover is usually required for these. They are the lest expensive of all the CD's, but are bulky and you have to take time to fold them.

~I started cloth diapering my 6 month old son Blake on: March 17, 2011. I started with 2 Best Bottom AI2 diapers, with 6 inserts and 3 pocket OhKaty diapers.



With that said, I will conclude Part 1 of Cloth Diapers! Stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Joining Summer Infant in their "Booking it Forward" Campaign!

Hello all! It is time to do some good in your community! Join me in the "Booking it forward" Campaign with Summer Infant.
 How you ask?
 Its simple!
 Just take new or gently used children's books to your local children in need! You can donate to your church, children's charity, local school, daycares, hospitals or where ever there is a need for children's books..

In return for your generosity I will be doing a surprise giveaway! If you donate one or more books:
 Leave a comment here letting me know where/who you donated to (be sure to leave your email so I can contact you). And you will automatically be entered into this surprise giveaway! (hint: its a L'Occitane product!!)

THANK YOU!

Bonus Entry!!

 "Like" my facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maternal-Instincts/163062257059794 and share this giveaway with your friends. (be sure to link my page so I know that you did this!)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You don't have to be a SUPERmom to make your own baby food!

Who knows what is in most baby food products? A bunch of stuff that you can't even pronounce? Maybe you can pronounce what is in your baby food because it is an all natural & organic product. Organic baby food can be so expensive though! While I have a stash of Plum Organics for quick on-the-go days, I usually like to make my own baby food at home! It is VERY easy, and takes hardly any time! It is very inexpensive option in comparison to the pre-made baby food you can find at stores.

Total time to make: 10-20 minutes depending on what type of food you are making!
This is what you do:

1. Buy either fresh or frozen food that you want your baby to eat. (I like frozen peas, or fresh carrots) A bag of frozen Vegetables will cost you around 1.00 a bag for a 16 ounce size. (or less if you use coupons and buy it on sale!) You can also choose to use organic fruits and vegetables, or mix and match. There is no pressure. Just the reward of knowing you are doing it for your baby.

2. You need to cook the food you buy. If you get a frozen bag of peas, all you need to do is thaw out the bag. If you get carrots you need to cut them up and cook them until they are soft.
3.  Take the food and put it into your food processor, baby food maker, or blender.
4. Blend / puree the food until there are no chunks or big pieces. I also recommend adding water to the mixture to get a smoother substance. I add about 4 ounces of water for every 16 ounces of food. You can also run the food through a strainer to make sure there are no big chunks that your little one could choke on.

5. Next put the food into individual containers and freeze. Make sure you leave some room at the top because food can expand in the freezer. You do not want a huge mess if it explodes because you failed to leave enough room. The 16 ounce bags of vegetables I buy usually make about 8- 2 ounce servings.
I have a set of 16- 2 ounce food containers that I purchased at Toys R Us for about 10.00 bucks. You can also just keep the glass jars that you get from the pre-made baby food and re-use them!


6. Lastly take containers and put them in the fridge the night before you want to use them. They will thaw out and be ready to use the next day! If you want them same-day you can leave them on the counter to thaw. They should be ready to eat in a few hours. You could also just throw a few in your diaper bag for on the go feeding. Just be sure you have a container that wont open in your bag or put it in a zip lock just in case spills occur.


This is not hard to do, it just takes a little dedication. You can make a lot of baby food at once so you only need to make it once a week or once every two weeks. The trick is to do what works best for YOU. If you decide that baby food making isn't for you, that is OK too! Everyone has a different life schedule and not all the same things will work for every mom.

The frozen vegetables will usually last 3-6 months in the freezer depending on the temperature of your freezer and where you store them in the fridge (closer to the back is better).

**MOM TIP: Do not be afraid to try new things! Get creative and mix and match food combinations for your baby to try!  Also remember you should aim to try a new food at least 7 times before giving up on whether or not the baby likes the food. Do not push it, just let them try it. Then try again the next day. Usually kids will learn to like the food by the 7th try! I know there are a lot of things that I had to acquire a taste for, like Indian food! :-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Invest in yourself, Invest in a good juicer!

I use my juicer 2-3 times a week. Juicing your favorite items can be a fun, easy way to get healthy. It is a delicious way to refresh yourself. You can bottle it up for a quick snack on the go, or even make extra to store in the fridge. You can use it just for yourself, or you can get the kids involved. I know how hard it can be to eat right, or get your kids to eat right. This is a great way to get kids to try new things. I find if I let my 4 year old pick out fruits and vegetables at the grocery store for juicing at home, he gets super excited. You can even sneak some spinach into their apple juice! No one wants to guess whats in the juices they buy at the store, and buying fresh, organic juice can get expensive. Invest in a home juicer and you can make your own juices from scratch in no time.
The juicer I use at home is the Breville Juicer. It is super easy to use, and easy to clean. It uses stainless steel cutters, and it features 2 juicing speeds that are ideal for juicing almost any kind of fruits and vegetables. It also has an extra wide mouth so you can juice small apples whole. You can buy one at Bed Bath and Beyond for around 149.99. Plus if you use a 20% off coupon you can get it for even cheaper!

Here is one of my favorite recipes:

2-3 whole carrots
2-3 Whole celery sticks
1/4 of a lemon
1 whole beet (stem included)
1 whole baby apple
2-3 hand fulls of spinach
1 cup of broccoli
1 tomato

(you can add your favorite fruits and vegetables, or you can subtract ones you don't like. Adjust it to your taste.)

Juice all ingredients together and stir. You can wait a bit and most of the foam at the top will settle. You can store in the fridge 2-3 days in an air tight container.

Brainy Baby DVD review

I recently purchased the Brain Baby DVD "Right Brain" and "Left Brain". The videos are based on research in infant development. They use the findings about the tendency of one side of the brain to be more dominate than the other. They are supposed to help infants become "whole brain thinkers". They are each 45 minutes long. The "Brainy Baby" series has won many awards including the "Dr toys 10 best children's videos" and has been endorsed by Kids First!
With that being said, I popped the Right Brain DVD into the player and started to watch with my 6 month old baby Blake. There were a series of colors and sounds, that would flash on the screen. It seemed very A.D.D to me, but Blake cooed and seemed to really enjoy the music and colors. It played classical music and had a very straight forward narrative. Blake remained glued to the screen. So I took this as an opportunity to take a much-needed shower!

I am not sure if these DVDs are really going to make my baby smarter, or better able to use both sides of his brain, but if they can provide me 10 minutes of peace and quiet to wash the baby puke from my hair, I approve!