Why settle for a boring, adult-designed set of blocks when you can create your own as often as you like? With Naef's new set of Colorem blocks (available in 12 and 15 cube sets for $60 and $100, respectively), tots can express themselves by drawing on the chalkboard painted maple blocks and then rearranging them to create a unique structure. When the lil one changes his artistic direction, the drawings are easily wiped off and a blank canvas returns. The Swiss-designed set comes with five water-soluble chalk crayons, a sponge, and an elastic cord on which the cubes can be strung. With six sides on each cube, the creative possibilities are endless!
If you like it then you should put a stamp on it! Capturing a lil one's hand or footprint, either for posterity's sake or for stationery, can be a messy task. Flailing limps and an ink pad don't necessarily mix.
Japan's Otete & Anyo cleans up the print process with custom-made rubber stamps featuring wee one's life-sized hand and foot prints ($116 each). While mom and dad will have to coerce baby to make one print from which the stamps are designed (the site has great tips for obtaining the prints), two to three weeks later, they will receive a stamp with which they can decorate to their heart's content. Each stamp is engraved with the tot's name and birth date and arrives in a beautiful paulownia wooden case.
Going hands free can lighten mom's load. But when Summer comes, baby-wearing mamas often find themselves in a catch-22 – they want the ease of a baby carrier, but a clunky stroller offers more shade from the sun.
Leave it to the company that brought the baby carrier to the mainstream to create a solution to the problem. This month, Baby Bjorn will introduce a sun cover ($70) complete with UPF 40 fabric to keep tots shielded from harmful rays. The lightweight cover has a detachable sun hood and mesh for ventilation to keep all of baby's limbs comfortably protected even on the warmest days. Would you try the Baby Bjorn Sun Cover?
Monsters beware! A new gang of six plush animals are ready, willing, and able to ward off the scariest monsters that lurk in a lil one's room at night.
Any mama that has been called into her wee one's room to search for offending creatures in the middle of the night will want to meet the Scare Me Nots ($25 each). Led by Defender Dave, the six plush dolls are designed to help tots sleep worry free through the night. Each Scare Me Not has its own unique personality and means for keeping monsters at bay, like Watchdog Wally who uses his high-tech nose to sniff out the troublemakers. With extra-long Velcro tails, the Scare Me Nots can be fixed onto a doorknob or mattress springs, allowing them to keep an eye out for monsters throughout the night (especially those that hang out under the bed)!
When your tot offers to help carry the groceries home, how can you say no? But, sometimes small hands can make the process more cumbersome. With the Reisenthel Motherchild bag ($28), mom can get the job done and her lil helper can assume some responsibility. Moms purchasing the polyester shopping bag, with two inner pockets are doing their part too – a portion of their proceeds is donated to a new initiative supporting Germany's day care facilities. Would this come in handy for your family?
Yesterday, we tested your knowledge of pediatric cancers and today I am bringing you an easy way to help fight the deadly disease by simply washing your lil one with a great two-in-one soap.
Anthony Logistics, the men's hair and skin care line, has introduced Hope For Kai Foaming Hair and Body Wash ($12) an extra-gentle, self-foaming cleanser that softens and conditions babies' skin without irritating their eyes.
Though the product was created to commemorate the birth of the company's founder's twin boys, Anthony Logistics is donating 100 percent of the product's profits to the Hope for Kai fund. The suds support a five-year-old named Kai Anderson, who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Simultaneously, his father was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. Through the sale of the body wash, the company hopes to raise funds for both father and son to have the treatments they need to survive.
Your days as a groupie for a big hair band may be behind you, but you can still impart your rock and roll style on your lil one. Rock a Bib Baby has an adorable line of baby blankets and bibs inspired by its founder's frustration with the typical cutesy bibs and blankets that were covering the fashionable clothes she handpicked for her newborn. The company's extra-large Headliner Blankets ($48) feature fun, cotton, music-inspired fabric backed with soft white polyester minky fabric and make rad accessories for stroller rides or even laid out on the floor. Their smaller Roadie Blankets ($28) feature the same designs, but can easily be carried around. If you are looking to deck your darling out like a cool kid, Kingston Rossdale, consider this line your best option!
We spend so much time researching baby gear that we often don't see the forest through the trees. Most of the products are used for such a short period of time that before we know it, they are sent to storage until another tot is ready to use it. Silver Cross, the British company best known for its celeb-endorsed prams, is introducing a new solution to the time-sensitive high chair. The Silver Cross Doodle Chair ($220), which is set to hit stores this month, quickly and easily converts from a high chair to a tot-sized table and chairs with little more than a few clicks. As a high chair, the Doodle features a five-point harness system, wipeable cushions, and an adjustable seat. Once transformed into a play table, it has an underneath storage tray and detachable crayon and pencil cups. With its clean modern lines and neutral color options, the Doodle may be the ideal solution to baby gear that grows with your lil one.
If last year's election taught us anything, it was that America was ready for change. But 2008 wasn't the first time the world experienced a tide change, it has always been part of our history. The clever folks at Peek . . . aren't you curious are hoping to teach the next generation about previous historic moments with their Change the World tees ($28-34). The shirts, featuring historic occasions like the day Rosa Parks boarded the bus to a quote from Ghandi, were designed to "create a dialog between parents and children about history, our country, and our future." The 100 percent cotton tees may just inspire a new round of public service in our lil one's futures.
Like it or not, the Snuggie has taken the world by storm this year. Oprah and the hosts of The Today Show have donned them on air and Saturday Night Live has even parodied the commercials touting the wearable blankets, but until now, they were only made for adults. The recently introduced Snugglette ($19.95 for two, plus free matching slipper socks) is a miniature version of the grown-up blanket with sleeves, made from the same "super soft luxurious fleece." Ads for the garment tout its benefits for keeping warm in the car, its comfort at sleepover parties and its coziness on sick days. For a product that looks like it came from the minds of tots, it's a bit surprising that it took this long for it to be sized down to their proportions.