My 5-year-old has an alter ego; she considers herself to be a bunny at times. At first, I thought her double identity was a scapegoat for any mischief-making, but she’s also takes credit for the good stuff, too. No matter what Bunny does, she helps to put a smile on my imaginative little girl–and that makes me happy, too. For kids with a voracious appetite for the make-believe comes Pebble, a standout line of organic, handmade plush. The quality alone blows me away (no cheap, carnival-style stuffed prizes here). Think beautifully crafted knit and crocheted toys that are soft to the touch, and even gentle enough for a baby’s sensitive skin. Among the collection’s assortment are organic blankets and rattles made from brightly colored cotton, making for gorgeous baby gifts. Our favorite, naturally, is the Girl Bunny whose floppy ears and smocked dress are especially endearing. We can’t help but think she’s the perfect pal for any resident rabbit…er, little girl.
In a Nutshell: Adorable, well-made baby gifts that stand out in a crowd. We’re sold.
So, how many British baby boutiques do you think are furiously readying their shops in honor of the Royal Baby? You never know who might decide to walk into your store and purchase that special something for the most-watched baby in the world. It doesn’t matter that we have yet to catch a glimpse of that precious baby boy, but when the hospital doors finally open and the royal couple proudly emerges with their child, all eyes will be on that very bundle. And if Kate is like any other new mum, she’ll want to have her newborn dressed comfortably and not take any chances in him catching a chill in that rainy London weather. In fact, we think she’d rather prefer the Barefoot Dreams Little Royals Receiving Blanket for her precious cargo. Made with a fashionable knit microfiber, it’s the perfect blanket to keep Baby snug without any worries of overheating (you know how quickly the weather can change). The ample 35 x 35 sizing provides ample coverage whether they’re out for a stroll in the Kensington Palace Gardens or he’s down for a nap. Of course, the baby blue crown motif is a fitting tribute to the Royal Baby, but this blanket works for plain folk babes, too.
In a Nutshell: A baby blanket so soft, it’s fit for a king…or prince.
My 4-year-old just got invited to another Hello Kitty party. This is one cat that gets around–and I’m not talking about my daughter! Last week, we told you about a Hello Kitty rain gear line that definitely put a much-needed spring in our step, especially after a long, cold winter. We knew that little girls would be all over that line…but now we’re finding that Hello Kitty has new mom appeal, too. One of our favorite lux baby brands, aden + anais, is introducing a limited-edition collection of Hello Kitty soft goods no baby girl should be without. The 100-percent cotton muslin line consists of a swaddle 3-pack, dream blanket, snap bib 3-pack and hooded towel/wash cloth set–all adorned with the famous cat motif. Whether you’re buying a new baby gift for a mom who grew up with HK as I did, or hoping to add a new person to her ever-growing fan base, this ensemble will not disappoint. Our favorite are the swaddle blankets, which can work overtime as an hip scarf with a jean jacket this spring. Shhhh…don’t worry, we’ll never tell on you.
In a Nutshell: If you’re looking to cultivate a kitty fan, this is one fashionable way to get started.
I admit that I’m not much of a personal shopper, but when it comes to kids’ clothes, I can’t resist. This time of year, our mailbox has been stuffed with catalogs ranging from Growing Up Garnet Hill , to crewcuts. I love every minute of paging through the glossy spreads and perusing the frilly frocks, sweet sundresses and tons of stylish warm weather items. Maybe all these clothes remind me of my own teen years, as I lay sprawled across my canopy bed with magazines like Sassy, Seventeen and YM checking out all the back-to-school possibilities. Or maybe it’s because checking out kid stuff is so much more satisfying than all those women’s swimsuit catalogs that quickly find their way into the recycling bin (thanks, but no thanks). Shopping for my girls is almost like building a wardrobe for a new baby, and with the Vera Bradley Baby brand debuting this spring, it’s more fun than ever to welcome a bundle of joy. We were tickled pink to get our hands on the VB Baby look book this week. From bibs to bodysuits, plush bunnies to diaper bags, each item embodies the true Vera Bradley style in a signature floral print. As a gift giver, I try to put myself in the place of the recipient, wondering what would would catch her eye if she were the one doing the shopping. I know from experience that most new moms not only appreciate the practicality–will I use this gift?–but the presentation. And Vera Bradley Baby does not disappoint in either department. Sweet first shoes are accented with soft bows, while stylish bibs in a patterned print are poised to stand up to any pureed veggies (what’s the point of a white bib, anyway)? As we usher in the season of spring, baby showers and of course, all those new babies, we’re predicting the VB Baby line will go far, appealing to dedicated fans (like my mother-in-law and my niece) and attracting a new generation of fashion-forward babes. The Vera Bradley Baby collection will arrive in stores on March 14.
In a Nutshell: Welcome to the world, Vera Bradley Baby! The quilted handbags powerhouse moves into kiddie territory with an entire product line that’s as sweet as it is stylish.
So, what do you do when a blizzard bares down over the weekend and you’re stuck indoors? Shop online, of course. But not just for any old thing; you’ve got to make that precious time on the Web count for something (especially if we lose power again–bite my tongue!) If you happen to be looking for that special gift , be it for Valentine’s Day, a friend’s new baby or maybe something that points to signs of spring (wishful thinking), we’ve stumbled upon the coolest site teeming with unique selections. Bespoke Custom Gifts is all about presents with personality. From monogrammed kids’ sneakers, to a storybook-inspired birdhouse, each item is as different as the person you’re sending it to. Not only is this site ideal for one-stop shopping, but there’s an online personal shopper if you’re torn between an item or not sure how to personalize it. We can’t decide what we like more: the vintage book birdhouse (featuring a number of classic stories like Winnie the Pooh and The Wizard of Oz) or the baby map quilt (depicting a child’s home town and embroidered with a baby’s name). One thing’s for sure: they’ll make memorable gifts. And you’ll have felt productive on a snow day.
In a Nutshell: All gift-giving should be so easy. We’ve found our new favorite site for presents with panache.
Still looking for that special something for your college roommate’s new baby? Yes, you’re still a procrastinator (things haven’t changed much) and it doesn’t help matters that she lives across the country. When an overnight-delivery of onesies just won’t cut it, consider the latest mail-order gift subscription service that we’ve stumbled upon this season. Taking the agony out of shopping and shipping, littlefox does the work for you. Spearheaded by two sisters who researched and hand-picked a selection of eco-friendly baby products and packaged them together in a recyclable cardboard box (yup, even the packaging is green) for a monthly mail-order subscription. From feeding accessories and adorable clothing, to developmental toys and other great finds, their picks are ones you’d only find if you spent hours scouring the Web (and right about now, time is more than precious). We got a peek at this month’s products, which include adorable hat and a handheld wooden toy that’s perfect to pull out when you’re standing on those long lines. But thanks to littlefox, that won’t be at the post office.
In a Nutshell: Right about now, who couldn’t use a personal shopper? Here’s the perfect baby gift that practically sells–and sends–itself.
gift that keeps on giving
Psstt…wanna know a secret? If you happen to be a new mom, then you’ll really want to pay attention. The secret to surviving the first year of your baby’s life is…wait for it…not having to do laundry every day. Now you may think that’s not exactly classified information, but if someone had told me to keep an endless supply of bibs and onesies on hand–and not just stock up on diapers–I would have spent a lot less time with my washer/dryer and more time chilling out. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have wanted to have your baby looking her finest at all times (you never know when someone will drop by unannounced and bestow a new baby gift upon you). For those who can take a hint, consider the utterly adorable Cupcake Onesies. Not only do they come ready-to-give, nestled in a confectionery-style, but they are look as good to eat as they are to wear. And because we moms appreciate things in bulk (they don’t sell those mega packs of wipes at Costco for nothing, you know), these delicate one-pieces (sized 0-6 months or up to 16 lbs.) come 2 and 4 to a box, so be sure to grab a few. For all those times she didn’t want to drop another load in the wash, believe us, the new mom in your life will thank you.
In a Nutshell: Let them buy cake…cupcake onesies, that is. Now babies can look as sweet as they smell–and Mom won’t have to feel like she’s elbow deep in Dreft.
My sister’s co-worker just had her baby shower, and judging by the number of gifts she received, this is bound to be one well-stocked nursery. Hard to believe that among the four (yup, you heard that right) car seats, a myriad of adorable outfits and a chandelier (!) for the nursery, she did not score a crib mobile. Because only a new mom knows just how much time newborns spend (hopefully!) sleeping, it’s ideal to provide them with a little stimulation when they’re awake, especially if they’re content to stay in their crib for a little while longer. Tiny Love’s brand-new-to-stores Soothe ‘n Groove Mobile is the perfect way to wile away the hours (okay, minutes) that your little one can spend happily kicking away. Three smiling, little friends twist and turn overhead, as gentle melodies play in time to their movement. Since we know how quickly we can tire from hearing the same three songs over and over, you’ll appreciate the fact that your little one will be treated to a selection of eighteen different lullabies for up to 40 minutes. Musical mommies with varied tastes can choose from jazz, classical and other favorite genres (sorry, no Adele here). Even after your baby has outgrown the mobile, you can detach it from the crib and keep the music box for her continued listening pleasure. Isn’t the greatest sound a cooing little person?…
In a Nutshell: Your baby’s crib is not complete with a mobile that offers plenty of delightful melodies, without the repetition that can drive even the sanest mom a little batty.
My sister’s co-worker is pregnant, and even though the baby shower is months away, she is already researching gift ideas. I don’t know about you, but when I received new baby presents, the personal, yet practical were the most memorable. Bibs rolled into lollipops were a delectable treat (little did I know just how many I would go through before the next load of laundry!). Diapers fashioned into cakes elicited “oh’s” and “ah’s” from my shower guests, disguising their usefulness as the top nursery necessity. And if there was one thing I remember appreciating from the moment I made my baby’s first diaper change, it was being armed with a tub of bathtime basics: baby shampoo, baby wash, lotion and diaper rash ointment. Seven years ago, the choices were limited to classic brands like Johnson & Johnson, but today your little one can be bathe and cleansed with a variety of spa-worthy products. Our latest favorite is the Live Clean Baby line of eco-friendly personal care products: Tearless Shampoo and Wash, Moisturizing Baby Bath, Moisturizing Baby Lotion, Non-Petroleum Jelly, Diaper Ointment and Moisturizing Bar Soap. Made from natural, non-irritating plant-based ingredients, the collection is gentle on newborn skin and smells heavenly. If my sister’s friend’s shower has a wishing well, any of the items in the Live Clean Baby line will surely make a splash.
In a Nutshell: Babies may be born with great skin, but it’s part of your job to make it stay that way. Wash your little one with the Live Clean Baby line-up, and be sure to inhale the sweet smell of clean.
Yesterday I was shopping at a toy store on Long Island’s North Shore when I came face to face with some rather irate creatures. It was a window display filled with Angry Birds stuffed animals, keychains and other merchandise inspired by the well-known video game. My 7-year-old, of course, was in heaven, and my 3-year-old was waving–or should I say, “flapping?”–her arms wildly, much like a little bird herself. I can’t deny this trend any longer, even if I don’t admit to playing the game myself. And while these birds have soared beyond the handheld remote and into toy stores, they’re now joining the baby world with their own new arrival: SwaddleDesigns’ Angry Birds Ultimate Receiving Blanket. This gift is sure to delight new parents who are avid game players and first-time moms determined not to leave their pre-baby identities behind, not to mention those who just want their newborn to be blanketed in the softest cotton flannel. Product won’t begin shipping until October, but if you pre-order $50 or more of SwaddleDesigns’ merchandise now , you’ll receive an Angry Birds plush toy with your order.
In a Nutshell: Like a mother bird who instinctively knows how to feather her nest comes an of-the-moment baby gift that’s bound to find a home in the modern nursery.