Author: Stephanie Mayers

Mittyz totally reinvents mittens for kids. Starting with the fact that kids will actually want to wear them.

Wintery white snowy days are coming whether we are ready for them or not. This year I am going to try to be prepared with updated snow gear for the kids that fits and is comfortable, encouraging longer outdoor playtime. So lucky us, we just discovered Mittyz mittens, a really different new kind of mittens for kids with some smart features designed to keep them on. Not that your kids will want to take them off. Mittyz (also available at Amazon right now at a good discount) are made to slip on hands easily — even over those bulky Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man coat sleeves — and to stay...

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The Mountain Buggy Juno baby carrier: From the high-end stroller company, comes a high-end baby carrier that’s really worth a look. And a carry.

When one of our favorite rugged, stylish stroller brands, Mountain Buggy, announced they were getting into the baby carrier business, I was definitely intrigued. I knew that keeping up with a baby and a six-year-old of my own was going to require some kind of super comfy carrier, especially with my neck and back issues. So I decided to put the Mountain Buggy Juno baby carrier through the ringer for a few months then report back on my real-life use experience. Turns out, this high-end baby carrier has a lot to offer. It won’t be for everyone, but what it does, it does well....

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Born to be Awkward: More laughing out loud from the people who brought you Awkward Family Photos

Every family has those terribly awkward and humiliating baby pictures capturing those off-moments you can’t escape. Lucky for you, yours likely aren’t included in a new book to be shared with the masses from the folks who brought us Awkward Family Photos. They’ve  done it again, this time letting the kids take the fall in the hilarious new paperback, Born to Be Awkward: Celebrating Those Imperfect Moments of Babyhood. Seeing as how babies have pretty much no motor skills and little self-control, there are plenty of fails to be giggled at, just like on your own camera roll: funny faces, spit ups, diaper blow outs, as well as a fine...

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Remember trouble dolls? Now Worry Eaters dolls are helping kids manage anxieties.

Emotions seem to be a big topic with kids at the moment, from help from the Pixar’s Inside Out and the ubiquitous emoji. I like that these are giving us the opportunity to pay more attention to our kids’ feelings and figure out the best way to support them. So I was happy to discover the new Worry Eaters dolls, whose purpose is to help kids address and handle stress and other concerns with friendly support. In my day we had trouble dolls. For my nieces there was “monster spray” for under the bed. And now our kids have Worry Eaters, a new line of plush friends that eats up children’s worries and carry their burdens so that they don’t have...

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Little Balena handmade baby blankets. Preppy is back!

Any parent knows the importance of a go-to baby blanket, because a baby blanket is never just a blanket; it’s a play mat, a changing pad, a lovie, a spot for tummy time and sometimes yes, a perfect cover for snuggling up and keeping warm. That’s a lot to live up to, but the mom who created handmade baby blankets called Little Balena Play Quilts has done just that. While there are of course plenty of awesome blankets already out there, what I love about these is the combo of the materials coupled with a traditional preppy design. As in a whale motif, from...

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Madly Wish: luxury handmade baby bedding, pillows, and blankets to make your nursery one-of-a-kind

Decorating the nursery ain’t what it used to be; the lace and bows and safari animals of nursery decor past have made way for emerging indie artists who are creating vibrant, fun, original designs for stylish parents who want more selection. We are are always on the lookout for something new and special, which is just what I found in the whimsical handmade baby bedding and beyond at Madly Wish. Related: The sweetest and sassiest new swaddle blankets, from bunnies to birds to zoonicorns Madly Wish hails from a mother of five who saw that while there was plenty of chic nursery bedding out there, none of it seemed as durable as...

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Fun new parent gift: Peripop is a baby play mat, blanket, and floor cushion all in one.

The nursery in our apartment was used by the previous tenant as a walk-in closet so as you can imagine, it’s small.  Every item our baby’s room has to earn its place by either looking great or serving us with high functionality. Ideally both. Sadly this means when I come across sweet pillows, blankets and other decorative additions I have to pass, but multi-purpose baby gear? You’ve got my attention. Hello to the Peripop baby play mat. Coming to us from Oribel, the makers of our beloved Portaplay exersaucer, I’m so happy to have a chance to try Peripop, which it turns out is actually way more...

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A terrific opportunity for teens to do some good this fall with the Baby Buggy Youth Service Corps

As the carefree days of summer wind down and the structure of the fall rounds the bend, its time to start thinking about curricular activities. While sports and school clubs are great, I like the idea of encouraging a teen to take on a hobby or activity that does something positive for others. There are tons of fantastic volunteer possibilities everywhere around the country, but if you’re in the NYC area, definitely check out one of our favorite charities, Baby Buggy. This terrific organization, which supports families in need by providing essential baby products and other support,  is inviting local youth ages 13-16 to get...

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A lovely new line of natural baby and pregnancy skincare: Dear Baby

When you are pregnant or have a new baby, you are suddenly super aware of all the ingredients in everything you put in and on your body. Decoding labels can be a chore and while we’re all for splurging when it counts, it’s even nicer when we can find affordable, natural, safer options. So hooray for Dear Baby, a handcrafted line of all-natural baby and pregnancy skincare products that makes it easy to treat yourself — and your baby — while protecting all that extra-sensitive, precious skin. Dear Baby was founded by mom Kate Ansari after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer during her pregnancy–...

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The cutest new baby and toddler dishes happen to do good for the planet, too.

If your kitchen cabinet is anything like mine, the brightly colored kids cups, bowls and plates have likely taken over. If you’re going to give into the kid stuff (which you probably should, unless you like broken dishes), first check out this fantastic new find of ours: The eco-friendly and adorable My Natural line. – Check out our Instagram feed for more great finds from the NY NOW gift show this week! – This is no mere plastic! The critter themed bowls and dishes are in fact created from eco-safe, plant based starches, and from food-grade silicone for the bowl bases and grippy...

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Lot801: Gender neutral clothes for cool kids that leave the stereotypes behind.

Gender neutral clothes for kids, or unisex, or whatever you want call it — if you are a regular here you know we are all for it. We are always on the hunt for whatever gives kids (and their parents) as many options as possible, from their bookshelves to their toy chests to their closets. So allow me to introduce our latest find in fun and funky wardrobe options for all kinds of kids: Lot801. Lot801 was founded at the kitchen table of frustrated Salt Lake City mom Lindsay Isakson who wanted a little more creative wardrobe freedom for her daughter than she...

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Havenly: An affordable online home design service perfect for procastinators, busy people, and stressed-out new parents

Hooray! You have a baby on the way and pretty soon your nesting instinct is going to kick into hyperdrive. If you’re like me, you excitedly clear out the spare room eager to start decorating for the new bundle and then…you hit a wall. Between lack of time and feeling stressed out by all the options out there (not to mention nightmares about Pinterest fails), I get it. Which is why I’m so happy to share my new online interior design service find, Havenly. Just for the rest of you who may be in redecorating mode. Havenly is all about helping busy — or simply overwhelmed — people decorate...

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Oribel PortaPlay, a baby activity center that lasts beyond the baby years. Really.

When that baby of yours hits the 5 or 6 month mark, so many things begin to change. Suddenly your baby is way too big for hanging out in the swing, but too little to sit and play in the pack n play, and this is where the exersaucer can save the day.  Not like we need a ton of new gear around our home, but we are bouncing up and down for the new Oribel PortaPlay convertible baby activity center design from Oribel which, in addition to having a great design for play and development, can transition into a play table as your child grows, making it a smart value. (Editor’s note: We’re receiving security warnings when...

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Cute new gender neutral onesies for babies who refuse to be pigeonholed thank you very much. (Lots of progressive babies out there!)

To beat the summer heat, like lots of parents I like going with a simple and light wardrobe for our new bundle. I am currently on the hunt for some awesome onesies to showcase my baby girl’s sweetness. Yes, baby boys are sweet too. They all don’t have to be FUTURE SPACE NINJA SUMO WRESTLING GALACTIC LORDS. So I love the new gender-neutral baby onesie collection from Susie Ghahremani of CMP fave indie shop Boygirlparty. Your little boy or girl  can wear these gender-neutral, extremely charming, very cute onesies all summer long and still lounge in comfort and style. – Don’t miss an exclusive discount...

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Post maternity wardrobe wins to keep you looking fresh and fabulous

Any woman who has recently given birth, like I have, has been there: Suddenly the baby is a few months old and you are finding yourself mentally ready to rejoin the other functioning members of society. There is just one problem… you have literally nothing to wear. Which means, time to look for post maternity clothing. Because with the extra [insert your own number here] pounds that are still clinging on post baby, your favorite wardrobe pieces may seem like a distant dream and the overworn maternity clothes that do fit are far less than appealing to you. I think most...

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One of the best crib mattress we’ve found that helps parents sleep better too.

New parents spend a good amount of time deciding on the right crib but the mattress is really more important, considering it’s what your baby is actually sleeping on. So what makes a crib mattress “the best crib mattress?” I always thought it was mainly about support and good quality materials; the idea of safety as it relates to breathability never really occurred to me. Let alone washability. But the Newton crib mattress has opened my eyes. And it’s not a zillion dollars, either. Related: Natural Mat baby mattresses: High-end and fabulous in every way Just in time for baby #2, I had a chance to try...

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5 of our favorite new baby products at the New York Baby Show

This past week I was fortunate to attend the New York Baby Show as a guest of New York Family Magazine. In the past, we’ve found some of our favorite new baby gear there (Ubbi Diaper Pails!), and there is a lot. I’m talking both products and and services that range from the basics to the genius to, okay, the ridiculous. But you won’t see those here, because my job is to weed all those out for you. I had quite a few favorites but here are my top five picks of new baby products that stood out from the rest, and that I think new...

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At last, we’ve found a convertible infant car seat and stroller in one. A good one. A really good one.

My weekday stress point is double parking the car outside the elementary school to run, car seat in hand no less, while I pick up my oldest. It’s close enough that it’s not worth getting out the stroller but as each day passes, that car seat gets heavier and more awkward to tote up to the school doors. Just one of those mildly annoying parenting growing pains, that we’ve all lived with, but we don’t have to. Meet the Doona system, a car seat that transforms in to a smooth riding compact stroller with one click. Yes, that really is a car seat and stroller in one....

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Please and Carrots – a baby toy subscription box that’s all about developmental milestones.

You buy all sorts of toys to fill the nursery while prepping for baby, then they start to grow and you find yourself wondering which toys are right for them and for which developmental milestones. Those long aisles full of very brightly colored toys at the store can be a little overwhelming, which is why I’m liking the new Please and Carrots baby toy subscription service, which helps take out the guesswork for new parents. – Don’t miss an exclusive discount for CMP readers below –  Curated by team of expert advisors including pediatricians, psychologists, educators and parents, each box is designed to engage...

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The new lightweight Baby Jogger travel system gives you a lot of bang for those already stretched bucks

Ah, the umbrella stroller, one of the most important pieces of parenting gear you will own. Yes, even more than a wipes warmer. (Kidding. Don’t get a wipes warmer.) In round one of parenting, our umbrella stroller took a real beating as we threw our baby in there for practically every outing. So imagine my glee in our discovery that, just in time for my second child, the trusted Baby Jogger brand is out with a new umbrella stroller that pairs with a car seat to make a very affordable, attractive, lightweight Baby Jogger Travel system that isn’t quite so taxing on my already tired arms....

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