When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I knew I wanted an old-fashioned pram in which to parade my new little love around town. By the time my second daughter arrived on the scene, I had grown weary of the neutral-colored baby gear I had acquired along the way. Sure, a cream-colored bouncy seat may have fit into my traditional home decor, while a steel grey car seat meshed well with my car’s interior. But at the end of the day, I found everything to be a bit…oh, how can I put it? Bor-ing. If someone had told me that those first few months of life with a newborn would be filled with lots of cat-napping, diaper changes, rattle shaking, sleeping, bathing, feeding–did we mention sleeping?–punctuated by a bunch of mini milestones, I might have done things differently, especially in the baby gear department. First-time moms who dare to be different will have no trouble showing their sense of style this season, thanks to the brand-new Cybex by Jeremy Scott collection. We got word of the line just as it was making headlines and boy, are we jazzed! Having been in the baby biz for quite a while now, we can safely say that we’ve never seen anything this awe-inspiring before! Jeremy Scott, the fashion visionary, has lent his colorful eye to an entire “Food Fight” baby gear design motif that takes “playful” to the nth degree. Soda pop duking it out with a hot dog? Popcorn kernels pummeling a defenseless burger? A refreshing departure from an infant world saturated with ho-hum prints and yawn-inducing solids, the Cybex by Jeremy Scott is one baby line that remembers what it’s like to be a kid–and celebrates it. The Cybex by Jeremy Scott collection of strollers, car seats, a diaper bag and other accessories will be available in June.
In a Nutshell: A stroller that packs a punch. A diaper bag that defies its identity. Because now, you get to be a kid…all over again.
When my daughter was a baby, you could tell when I was planning to visit my parents simply by gazing into the back of my car. The amount of baby gear rivaled a Babies R Us boutique, if there ever was one. Sandwiched in between my diaper bag and umbrella stroller was the all-important fish-printed bouncer. Even though it was rather cumbersome and bulky, it was my American Express of baby stuff: I never left home without it. Not only did this seat act as a secure place for my just-sitting-up babe, but it often gave her the opportunity to doze off, courtesy of its soothing vibrations and bubble-making. Despite its immeasurable value during that first year, that seat and I had a love/hate relationship. On my ride home from Grandma’s, you could find me silently swearing at its massive frame that obstructed my rear view. Couldn’t I find something that wasn’t a towering mass of metal? Today’s new moms won’t have to commit internal road rage, thanks to a new bouncer seat that knows its place. QuickSmart’s Fold N Go Bouncer delivers on its promise to keep baby gear compact. In a matter of seconds, this soft seat folds in half and its metal legs tuck underneath the frame, resulting in a flat, portable seat that can assume a suitable spot for itself in your car, in a suitcase or anywhere space is tight. The flexible design doesn’t compromise on function, either. All the bells and whistles of a standard bouncer –3-point safety harness, 3 levels of music/vibrations and machine-washable fabric on the seat– are accounted for. Finally, a baby seat that lives up to its name. And one that doesn’t mess with my view.
In a Nutshell: Baby gear that’s small on space, but big on versatility. We’re sold on a compact seat that gives us some extra breathing room (and cargo space).
I’ve always been envious of babies in cozy cover-ups–and it’s not just because I detest cold weather. When my daughters were younger, I got such a kick out of snuggling them into their zip-up car seat-ups as I schlepped them around town. Just the thought of seeing only their little heads peeking out gave me the giggles (or maybe I was just punchy from being so sleep-deprived). Whatever the reason, the very act of being all wrapped up with one, quick zip–rather than being stuffed inside blankets that easily came undone and dragged on the ground–was sheer genius…but one that wouldn’t still benefit from some improvement. That’s part of the reason we love the Pookie Poncho Light from 7 am Enfant. This multitasking product is a lightweight baby carrier, carseat carrier and stroller carrier, all in one. The fleece lining is ideal for keeping your little one warm, minus the overheating. But what really sets this product apart is in the details: When the Pookie Poncho is being used as a front carrier, you can warm your own hands by tucking them in the side slits. And when your baby is snuggled in her stroller, it’s her turn to keep those precious digits snug. We’re smitten with the fashionable orange peel model (so Sundance!). This fall, it will also be available in lilac, marron glace, midnight blue and black. Who says you and your baby can’t look–and feel–good in winter weather?
In a Nutshell: Colder temps may be months away, but it never hurts to be prepared. The Pookie Poncho Light is baby gear that treats both Mom and Baby with TLC.
Last weekend at church, I watched as a young baby dropped his rattle repeatedly, only to watch his doting grandpa bend over and pick it up again and again. Much to my and my fellow parishioners’ amusement, this game got pretty old pretty fast for Grandpa…but only continued to elicit giggles from the precocious little tot. Too bad this baby’s diaper bag hadn’t been packed with Loopy Gear, an inventive baby gadget that only a mother who’s been there, done that could have dreamed up. It works by attaching the larger loop to your baby’s wrist and the smaller loop around his rattle or small toy. Available in a variety of stylish cotton prints, Loopy Gear can also be attached to your child’s car seat, stroller or high chair. Voila! Your little one has instant access to her favorite toy, and you don’t have to suffer from chronic lower back pain. Now that’s what we call “attachment parenting.”
In a Nutshell: Don’t get rattled by the forever-dropping rattle game; this smart little device will keep your baby’s toy in place–and your sanity in check.
When my preschooler was an infant, boy, could that kid cry! Pacifiers were never enough to soothe her; she’d spit them out faster than I could pop them back in. And bouncy seats never offered enough movement to satisfy her for any considerable length of time. Thank goodness then for her swing, a newer, portable model that replaced her older sister’s bulky floor model. It didn’t matter that it offered more music or an extra cushiony seat; for this temperamental tot, it was all about the constant motion that kept her smiling and her mommy, sane. Amazed as I was four years ago to see the transformation in her swing’s more sleek design, I marvel today at the strides in innovation that make baby gear more fitting for the modern-day nursery than ever. And Graco’s Minnie Mouse Sweet Snuggle Premier Infant Soothing Swing, part of the new Disney Baby line, falls right into that camp. We love the fact that this swing is set high up off the ground, discouraging any curious kitties or other unwanted guests from disturbing your little one’s privacy. The number of options for her optimal comfort level is staggering: 4 sitting positions, 6 swing speeds and up to 15 songs. (My 3-year-old would so envious if she knew what she was missing!) An extra cushy seat and canopy with soft toys in a rich plum color palette are the icing on the cake. This is one swing bound to afford babies (and their moms) some peace of mind, no matter how cranky they get.
In a Nutshell: Give your baby the gift of contentment as she rocks away in a swing that’s got all the bells and whistles to keep her–and you– smiling.
Today, on our weekly supermarket jaunt, my 3-year-old and I were treated to a display of hearts-shaped place mats, cupid cookie cutters and all things red and pink. That can only mean that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. If you happen to be the proud parent of a new bundle of joy, or have a best bud who’s expecting, it’s time to introduce that little babe to the good life with an infant seat she’ll simply love. Bloom’s limited edition coco rosso rocker may be designed for a baby, but it definitely has grown-up appeal. We love that it looks as comfortable as it feels, thanks to a specially designed Plexistyle soft seat. The 5-point harness ensures that your little one stays put, even as she rocks herself to sleep. The coco rosso doesn’t sport any fancy bells and whistles, lights or sounds. If you’re looking for one baby product that fits in with the rest of your contemporary home decor, the coco rosso is it.
In a Nutshell: A sweetheart of a baby gift, the sleek lines of this stylish infant seat make it baby gear you’ll be proud to showcase.
One of the most useful, unexpected baby gifts I received was a baby footmuff. I don’t recall the brand or name, but I do remember taking one look at this strange contraption and thinking, “Yeah, right. I don’t think I’ll be taking that out of the box anytime soon…” Little did I know that when my daughter’s first winter arrived, I’d be struggling to fit her puffy coat inside her car seat straps day after day. I imagine wrestling a crocodile was easier than this! After many failed attempts at getting her in her seat without any tears, I had a lightbulb moment and quickly ran upstairs to unpack that suddenly practical present. This is genius, I thought, as I carefully stripped off her bulky coat, zipped her upside in the footmuff and topped her off with a pom-pom hat. Voila! Baby is bundled, and not a tear in sight. So naturally, when I came upon the newest baby product in this space, I nearly shed a tear myself (one of happy memories, that is). The name alone, the Wallaroo Bundle, conjures up images of a baby kangaroo, all safe and warm in her mama’s pouch. A smart alternative to a traditional blanket, this fleece baby cover works inside most strollers and car seats. Just pull the drawstring cord to secure a comfortable fit. No more wiggly, cold toes peeking out. What’s more, you can also add the Wallaroo Bundle as a layer to your front carrier and wear it–something we haven’t seen before. It’s the perfect excuse to snuggle close with your little one…as if you needed any reason.
In a Nutshell: Don’t fuss with a bulky coat and blankets for your baby this winter. Brace the chill with a Wallaroo Bundle, and your baby will be as snuggled as can be.
In my family, if you were said to have ‘thick skin,’ it meant you didn’t let things get to you. I’d like to think that over the years, I’ve developed quite a few layers that have enabled me to withstand criticism…at least for the most part. Growing a protective shell doesn’t happen overnight unless, of course, you’re a turtle. And when you’re a new parent shopping for baby gear that will stand up to wear and tear, this animal’s tough exterior comes to mind. How fitting that Kolcraft’s TurtleTot Activity Center is centered around this very creature. The newest stationary activity center to come to town, it features Toby TurtleTot who sits amidst a group of playful pals–a worm, butterfly, bee and rattle–inviting your little one to experience sounds, lights and movement. Much like the turtle itself, the TurtleTot center is durable and strong, designed to be folded up and taken with you. If you’re in the market for a safe spot for your baby to enjoy and explore, then take this turtle along for the ride.
In a Nutshell: Baby gear designed to withstand hours of play and travel, the TurtleTot Activity Center is ready for action.