If reaching for your diaper bag is a hernia-inducing experience, it may be time to look at smaller options that limit the number of products you can carry with you on your next outing. Fashion darling, and Fab favorite Jenni Kayne found herself in such a situation when she was preparing for a quick walk with her newborn son, Tanner, late last year. The designer got to work creating a bag large enough to fit the necessities but small enough to fit under her stroller, resulting in the Jenni Kayne Mommy Bag. Kayne has teamed up with drugstore.com to fill the bag with full- and deluxe-sized samples of some of our favorite eco-friendly products for mamas and tots, including California Baby, Burt's Bees, Seventh Generation Diapers, and Avent bottles. The bag is free with any $75 purchase on the site, so now may be the perfect time to restock your changing table with all of the necessities.
I'm a big proponent of homemade teethers like cold food, but natural remedies aren't practical when you're on the go. These Kammi Teething Dolls ($20) offer a simple solution to soothing baby's ailing gums. They look a bit like cotton gnomes, but the terrycloth dolls are crafted out of knots. You just dampen the knots, store the doll in the freezer for a while and then let baby bite away. The best part? The dolls can be machine washed.
City slickers unite with these adorable customized onesie gift packs created by Etsy-seller Handmade Jig ($32). Choose three designs from your favorite American cities including New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago and Alyssa Coberly will add your lil one's name to the graphic, transfer the image to a 100% cotton garment, package it up in a wooden box and ship it off with a bow on top. The sets make great gifts for tots with relatives scattered throughout the country and can simply state the name of the city they showcase if you choose not to place a name on them. Coberly also creates similar sets with hat designs, zoo animals or castles and donates $1 from each order to Save the Children.
When second and third children arrive, I like to buy them something a bit out of the ordinary. Their homes are already filled with baby bouncers, swings, board books and hooded towels from the first tot's arrival. I tend to go with something personalized. It allows that baby to have something of his own that is not just another sibling hand-me-down. Baby Gardner Hand-Embroidered Onesies ($38) are a sweet fit for this occasion. The vintage-inspired garment features an adorable baby elephant and the newborn's name, and comes in a personalized muslin drawstring bag that can be used long-after the lil one outgrows the gift.
Babies love mirrors, but naturally can't comprehend that when you peer into one everything shows up backwards. The Milalu Reflective Learning Onesie ($18) aims to make self exploration in the mirror study time by flipping the decal alphabet so it's legible when seen through a mirror.
There aren't many infants sporting onesies who know their ABCs, but there's nothing like setting a high bar.
Sign language has gained popularity among parents of non-deaf tots as a way to communicate with their lil ones prior to their being able to speak. It is also a great way to teach older kids about children with special needs. Introduce them to another form of communication for kids with different abilities with Bitty Braille t-shirts and onesies. The shirts (starting at $26) feature words or names in studs and their translation in hand-embroidered cursive writing. Choose from more than half-a-dozen words such as "cutie," "happy" or "buddy" or go for one with your lil learner's name for a personalized version that will help introduce the world of Braille. A portion of the sale of each shirt is donated to the American Foundation for the Blind, the national nonprofit organization that employed Helen Keller.
If you like the look of a personalized onesie, but can't stand the thought of shelling out good money for something your lil one will outgrow in a few months, I've found a DIY option that should do the trick. Meyamo Customized Onesies ($26) come with a trimmed onesie, a bag of fuzzy, iron-on letters and an easy to understand set of instructions. Simply mix and match the letters, some of which are embellished with cute designs, and press them onto the garment. Within minutes you have your own custom creation that you know you created yourself. Not bad for an afternoon's work!
It's hard to be a sad panda about brushing your teeth when you have an Animal Kingdom Toothbrush Holder ($8) to play with. The hippo, panda and giraffe toothbrush holders (and decorators) have clam shell stomachs so little hands can just push their brush into its protective belly.
Finding cute and fun toddler bath products that aren't connected with a television character is not an easy task. Tiny Tillia is an adorable line of paraben-free and earth-friendly bath, body and play products. Created by London-based designer Tiffany Lerman, novelist Jackie Collins's daughter, the line includes head to toe foam washes, shampoos, bubble baths and hand sanitizers ($16) featuring a cast of whimsical cartoon characters based on Lerman's family. Duncan Dog, Indy Sheep, Ben Giraffe and TT Cow each have their own traits and are packaged as stuffed animals or bath mitts with accompanying bubble baths ($15). The products' Tropical Blast and Flower Power scents have attracted a celebrity following, including Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lopez, and are sure to encourage your lil ones to spend a few more minutes cleaning behind their ears.
Whenever I visit the MOMA store I find treasures galore. This Wooden Blocks Rattle Set ($18) is a bull’s-eye gift option for any child with tragically hip parents. The small rattles are made of different types of wood and decorated with funny (almost emoticon-inspired) faces. Each rattle produces a distinctive sound so your little one can learn about music while he shakes, rattles and rolls.