Author: Stephanie Slate

What’s black and white and red all over?

You know how much little babies love things that are black and white? Well, I’m kind of getting a kick out of imagining a baby freaking out on this awesome play mat. Seriously, they wouldn’t know where to look first. Leave it to the MoMA Store to carry one of the neatest looking baby play mats I’ve seen in a long time. Alongside the high contrast color scheme, the Crawl & Discover Mat has all kind of things to keep a wee one interested, including crinkle paper, flaps and textures. But mostly, I just want to see a baby...

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Stuck on their middle by you

In my family, we’re kind of obsessive photographers when it comes to documenting our babies’ growth. From belly shots to holiday shots to weekly and monthly shots of baby’s first year, we go all out. (Not surprisingly, though, we seem to forget to take these pictures for poor #3 a lot more than we did for his siblings!) And now this wonderful company is making it even easier to do just that. It’s easy to see why I love the little sticker sets from Sticky Bellies that help you mark the years or months in photos. Not only do...

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Prints charming

I feel like I fall in love with a new alphabet print every week. But when there are prints in the world as gorgeous as the Alphanimal Prints from Lucy Loves This, well, my infatuation is pretty easy to understand. I love that each letter of the alphabet is represented by an animal–or several–beginning with that letter. Kind of makes the print into a bit of a game for an older child. And I adore the monochromatic look of the blue and pink versions. But fear not, rainbow-lovers, for there’s a glorious multicolored version for you, too. While you’re...

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The nighttime cloth diaper of my dreams

Once upon a time, in the land of cloth diapering, there was a great diapering secret that somehow remained elusive to many parents: the overnight technique. Finding what will work for your particular baby in his particular sleeping arrangement can be tricky, to say the least. And there will likely be many wet sheets before a solution is found. (Which, for a co-sleeping mama like me is a rather unpleasant situation.) Well, friends, I have found an answer that doesn’t require the proverbial nighttime disposable. SoftBums diapers have been keeping my bed dry and I am thrilled by how...

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Baby name. You’ve got the cutest little baby name.

I’ve always been a big fan of custom baby gifts. After all, what parent doesn’t want to see that oh-so-perfect name they’ve spent days or months (or years, ahem) agonizing over ,emblazoned on something special? The delightful custom posters from alfabetika are a wonderful option for stealing the show at any meet-the-baby shower or first birthday party, and so different from anything we’ve seen. Darling little anthropomorphic letters created by graphic designer Anne-Lise Borgen Borgen Rizzo spell out each wonderful name just as sweetly as can be–only with a little humor built into the funny alphabet creatures that keeps...

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The baby travel crib that raises the bar for all other travel cribs

I finally get the baby travel crib thing. My first baby had a play yard which was great for storing all kinds of new baby gifts, diapers, blankets–you get the idea. We didn’t bring it out at all with my second child, giving it away soon after she was born. Then came number three. And that’s when I realized what I had been missing. The Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light is the easiest-to-put-together piece of baby gear I have ever seen. Ever. It is the answer to my oh-my-goodness-I-need-to-put-this-baby-down-somewhere-safe-for-five-minutes so-he-won’t-eat-electrical-cords-while-I-cut-carrot-sticks-for-my-big-kids woes. Let me put it to you this way: when I pulled it...

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Now I lay them down to sleep

My organic-eating, organic-dressing, organic-playing kids sleep on regular old foam pillows. There, I said it: they spend half of their lives with cuddling up with chemical-filled foam. Not one of the greatest horrors of childhood, of course, but still, I’m so glad to have found an organic pillow alternative When I learned the great pillows by Madii & Dyl online–an awesome Australian kids’ line that’s now available in the US–I was quite excited. They’re sized perfectly for little heads and necks (there’s a toddler size and a child size) and made from 100% organic latex, so they’re naturally hypoallergenic...

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Ooh la la! Quelle playhouse!

Qu’est-ce que c’est? Why it’s only the sweetest cardboard play structure I’ve ever laid eyes on. Okay, I’ve only laid eyes on it online, but still. I think my children need this thing, stat. The French Café from Little Play Spaces takes the fun and convenience of a typical cardboard play space and adds to it all kinds of wonderful interactive features that kids will love. Including my favorite, a real chalkboard for writing the daily specials. Gâteau, anyone? I love that it’s designed by a mom of an 8-year-old, who finally created a great play space for older...

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Mommy Poppins expands. Boston and LA moms, rejoice!

When I first discovered Mommy Poppins I remember thinking, oh finally–a non-pretentious guide to all the best things to do around New York and the NYC area. There is rarely a week in which I fail to check the site to find free activities, special events, and great news about goings-on around town that my kids will love. Now? They’re in LA and Boston too. Whoo! Mommy Poppins LA and Mommy Poppins Boston offer the same great, searchable nav. You can check activities by age, neighborhood, type of activity or date. Or just keep an eye on the handy...

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3 ways to give back to schools

Now that the kids are fully back in school, that means unfortunately, there are a lot of teachers out there thinking about all the out-of-pocket money they’re going to have to start spending on their classrooms. Which, if you ask me, is just plain wrong. But we’ve found a couple of neat options for families who–in the midst of all that back-to-school shopping–want to help provide schools, teachers and students across the country with support, supplies and funding. DonorsChoose.org This is the original citizen philanthropy website, connecting donors to individual teachers who need specific supplies. Some requests are as...

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Embrace pregnancy one pretty page at a time

When I was assigned to check out a pregnancy journal for Cool Mom Picks, I jokingly responded that I’d do it as long as I didn’t have to get pregnant. Well, here I am (no, not pregnant!) flipping through Embrace: A Pregnancy Journal and suddenly I’m kind of longing to be. It’s just that the book, filled with Nikki McClure’s gorgeous paper cut illustrations and beautifully simple writing and drawing suggestions, is so darned romantic, it’s hard not to get caught up in the dreaminess of it all. With sweet and unique directions to draw or write about everything...

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Feeling blue about the same old Orbit G2 stroller?

Sometimes it can get boring pushing around the same old stroller year after year. I know you mamas know what I’m talking about. Now, if you’ve chosen your stroller wisely (which, as a CMP reader, you surely have), it’s not going anywhere anytime soon because it’s totally built to last. But you don’t keep the same purse every season. Or clothes. So why should you keep your stroller looking the same? That’s where the awesome Color Packs from Orbit Baby come and save the day for any Orbit Stroller G2-pushing mamas out there. With a quick swap of the...

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This fruit puree dispenser will be a kid’s main squeeze

You know those great little squeezable fruit and veggie purees that are such perfect, healthy, on-the-go snacks for kids of all ages? Now imagine how much better they’d be if there weren’t any garbage to throw away once the yummy stuff had been slurped out. What you just imagined right there, that’s what the good folks at The Sili Company have created. And it’s awesome. You just fill up the Sili Squeeze-anything soft, smooth and squishy will do–cap it, and you’re good to go. It’s leak-proof and made of safe BPA-free silicone. Plus the whole thing is dishwasher safe,...

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Muslin swaddlers get as pretty as they are practical

If there’s one baby product that’s made a name for itself in the last few years, it’s the cotton muslin swaddling blanket. Yes, we’ve been tracking down the best ones for quite a few years now, but they’ve never been as beautiful and adorable as they are now. The gorgeous new muslin swaddlers from Little Giraffe are so pretty, they’re kind of making me want another baby to swaddle. (Let’s keep that under wraps, though. Pun intended.) They’re the same big swaddling blanket size we’re used to, but I’m really in love with some of the prints. Particularly the...

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phil & ted’s, you’ve got some Verve!

It’s got to be said: I’ve never been a big fan of the in-line stroller concept. I was always worried that the poor kid in the bottom kind of gets the shaft, staring at the back of a seat for the whole ride. Much to my surprise however, all it took was one look at the phil & ted’s Verve stroller with the double kit attached, for my kids to start fighting over who would get to ride in that bottom seat first. Guess I was wrong. We really enjoyed our time trying out the Verve. It’s a sleek...

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Raise a glass of bubbly (water of course) to this neat machine

Summer may be coming to an end (noooooo!) but my family’s consumption of “fizzy water” is never going to slow down. To say we’re fans of the bubbly stuff would be putting it mildly. But we’ve got a new secret this year. A fun, eco, delicious secret. It’s the SodaStream Jet and it’s absolutely amazing. This water fizzifier (okay, not the technical name) adds carbon dioxide to plain old tap water–or filtered water if you’re feeling chichi–and, voila, instant bubbly drinks. I’s simple to use. You just attach the bottle of plain water to the SodaStream, press a button...

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Over-packing mama birds will love Phil & Ted’s Nest

The first time you travel with a baby in tow is shocking, to say the least. If you thought you were an over-packer before, suddenly you feel like you might need to rent a moving truck just to get your things to the cottage. Each precious piece of gear seems more important than the next because, frankly, how is baby going to make it through the weekend without his beloved [insert one of hundreds of important baby items here]?  Phil & Ted to the rescue. The Phil & Ted’s Nest is a brilliant travel bassinet, designed to hold babies...

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Not your average baby bib

When you enter the solid food stage of babyhood, you see how messy a tiny baby can really be. Newborn spit-up has nothing on mashed bananas and avocado, right? The Moxie Bib is one of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-that mom inventions that I don’t know how I lived without. A super-soft terrycloth bib –with sleeves– that velcros around baby’s neck. That’s it. There’s even a short-sleeved version for summer, though if your kid’s messy enough, a long-sleeved one ought to work for you year-round. The sleeves have cuffs to keep the food out and the soft neckline offers complete coverage so...

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Restaurant high chairs without the ew factor

Surely I’m not the only one who’s often grossed-out by restaurant high chairs? They’re handy, yes, but they’re usually filled with the remains of some other kid’s meal. This is just why the new Phil & Ted’s Lobster seat comes in very handy for restaurant-goers. This portable high chair is a brilliant, fold-flat seat that attaches to most tables with its “claws” (get it?). You just unfold it, screw both sides tight and you’re good to go. It’s easy enough to do with one hand – trust me, I’ve had to. The buckle is a breeze to use and...

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Building a better sleep sack

It must be hard to come up with new twists on old baby gear, like sleep sacks, but it seems there’s always a smart mom out there ready to devise a brilliant improvement. And if there is, we’re going to find her. Or in the case of the Gunapod wearable blanket, three moms. This soft and cozy fleece baby sleep sack –which is available in three sizes ranging from 3 to 24 months– isn’t just another adorable wearable blanket. That’s because the mama creators behind the blanket know a thing or two about middle-of-the-night diaper changes and sleeping-baby-transfers. Their experience is our gain....

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