Category: Gear

Color-your-own backpacks and bags that let your kids be the designer

Any parent who has walls, floors, tables, refrigerators, windows, or slips of important paperwork knows: If it’s even slightly colorable, a kid will color it. So having extra things around that are supposed to be colored is always a good idea, and that’s just one of the reasons we’re all over the back-to-school coloring accessories from a CMP favorite company, OMY Design + Play. Related: Crazy-affordable back-to-school gear for preschoolers OMY is a cool woman-owned Parisian business that creates color-your-own items like placemats, puzzles, and posters with fantastically fun graphics. And now it’s bringing your kids creativity to a new line of color-your-own...

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What’s new about the new AAP car seat guidelines that parents need to know.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wants to be as clear as can be on the safest way to buckle up your kids in the car. They just released new car seat guidelines for 2017 with very specific age and weight requirements and the folks at Healthy Child have conveniently summarized the important parts, should you not want to order a whole brochure. The AAP has even gone a step further and compiled a list of 2017 approved car seats that you can feel good about buying. Way to make a parent’s life easier, AAP! Related: Mifold vs. BubbleBum: Travel booster seat...

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Mifold vs. BubbleBum: Travel booster seat smackdown

My kids have all used traditional booster seats in the car, but recently my son has had a chance to test out two cool booster seat alternatives so we could really give you the scoop on the pros, cons, and differences between the Mifold and the BubbleBum travel booster seats. While size and portability are huge benefits of travel boosters like these, my 7-year-old expert (you know, the kid who actually has to sit on them all day in the car) offered up some good insight too. So, if you’re looking for an option to the big traditional booster...

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4 stylish summer diaper bags to make schlepping your crap bit more glam

Now that my son is 4 months old, I’m craving a diaper bag that’s a little more stylish and summery than the workhorse tote I hauled around when he was a newborn. Because now that he’s screaming slightly less often — or at more regular intervals, anyway — I’ve been bringing him to so many more places, like the local paleta shop or an al fresco dinner with friends. So I searched around and found some really fun and stylish diaper bags that might make you feel a little sunnier during those dog days of summer schlepping. CMP is...

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Plus, you get to hum the Jaws theme while you push it.

Yes, it’s a few weeks until Shark Week, a much-awaited tradition around these parts, but I couldn’t wait to share this awesome shark stroller that one of our eagle-eyed staffers spotted around Brooklyn this week. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the baby boutique, check out the MacLaren Shark Stroller, which is one fierce bit of baby gear. It’s got all the fun of a design by British neo-pop artist Philip Colbert — modern art fans might recognize his fried egg BMW — plus the features you’d expect from a Maclaren stroller, including a shark teeth...

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The travel toy box that solves every parent’s travel toy nightmares

Traveling with kids is never (ahem) easy, although we do have some pro-tips that make road trips or air travel a little easier on parents. But one of the easiest ways to keep the kids happier while they’re stuck in a seat is to give them access to their toys. Right? Bonus points if you don’t have to squeeze across the aisles or stretch yourself over into the back seat to constantly pick their stuff up off the floor. So when I saw the successful campaign on Indiegogo for the Danish designed Teebee travel toy box, I thought it looked pretty...

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The sweet kids beach poncho that multitasks in a big way

The thrill of watching a joyful toddler play in the ocean is almost enough to outweigh the pain-in-the-neck routine of swim diapers and sunscreen and sand and coverups. Not to mention the wagon full of towels, toys and other gear. But I just checked out a press sample of the adorable new children’s beach ponchos from Poncho and Parker and wow, they can really make the entire beach-going process surprisingly easier on parents.   Related: The most adorably modern, modest, mix-and-match swimsuits for kids. Just slip the beach poncho over your kid’s head; there are no sleeves to wriggle into so...

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6 essential sleepaway camp packing tips to keep you organized and sane (if not a little sad)

If your kid is going to sleepaway camp this summer — especially if it’s for the first time — your family is probably dealing with a lot of organizational kerfuffles right about now. Not the least of which is packing. Even though your camp will send its own checklist of “what to bring” and “what not to,” you’re still going to have plenty of questions. So we rounded up some sleepaway camp packing tips to help make it all much easier. That way, there’s less time to worry, and more time for what really matters: Lots of pre-camp hugs....

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5 incredibly clever ways to transport wine safely to picnics

Summer means picnics, and picnics mean wine! Well, okay — picnics mean an awful lot of good things, like family and fun and memories and sunshine. But for you wine-drinkers, a nice Rosé or Prosecco can have its own special place in a picnic, and we’re all for getting that bottle to your picnic destination safely. So let’s give a toast to these clever ways to transport wine to picnics. Bottoms up! At least, if your city’s open container laws allow. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Outdoor dining gear essentials for perfect picnics   We’ve loved these Wine Sippy...

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The world’s cutest baby playmats: We found a contender!

When you’ve got a baby who’s tummy-timing all over the house, it’s nice to have something for her floor exercises that goes beyond a slippity blanket or boring bath towel. We’ve BTDT and what we wanted for our little ones? Something cushioned, soft, portable, and — hey, why not? — lovely to look at too. And these designer Kip & Co. baby playmats fit the bill perfectly. Kip & Co. is a cool women-owned company based in Australia that specializes in these colorful, beautifully crafted playmats (as well as other linens for babies like sheets and swaddles). And lucky for us, they just recently launched their...

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A taco truck on every shoulder

While I’d personally be thrilled to have a taco truck on every corner (especially those ones from Austin, mmm…), I would happily settle for this hilarious taco truck lunch tote dangling from my shoulder. Especially because it doesn’t have to be a lunch tote at all; just wear it as a handbag and bask in that 2017 zeitgeist. Related: The taco truck playhouse for kids not satisfied with those boring castles. For the price, I can’t imagine it’s made of genuine nappa leather (or anything even remotely close to that). But then, for the cost of a few tacos pollo con mole — or two tickets...

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The limited-edition Bugaboo Niark1 stroller: Parenting gear with serious street cred.

My youngest is just about to age out of her stroller, which is a shame because the brand new Bugaboo Niark1 stroller limited-edition accessories is crazy cool. In this collaboration, Bugaboo gave French graphic artist Sébastien Féraut (a.k.a. Niark1) free reign to create a new canopy design using his iconic monster images. And the result is whoa! Who knew a stroller could give us such serious street cred? Related: The best strollers to buy right now: What to look for, what to avoid, and which brands we’d buy again. You can scroll the Bugaboo website to see which canopies fit which stroller...

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10 of the best, thoughtful gifts for newly adoptive parents and their kids

As a newly adoptive parent, I’ve received a lot of generous adoption gifts from friends and family that celebrate our daughter’s culture and heritage, and speak volumes about the fact that she came into our family in a way very different from our other three children. Of course, like any new parent, an adoptive parent would welcome home cooked meals, gift cards, boxes of diapers. But if you’re looking to give a more meaningful or sentimental gift, I’ve pulled together 10 of the best adoption gifts that I would love to have received myself. Each one of these is sure to get a very...

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The backpack that might convert even the most anti-backpack people

This hard core tote lover hasn’t been so excited about a bag in a very long time, let alone a backpack, but just a few hours into carrying around the new Dakota backpack that our friends at Dagne Dover sent me and I want to tell everyone how great it is. Similar to their totes we featured here a couple of years ago, the Dakota backpack is full of really smart pocket and pouches for everything from small laptop or tech gadget, to your charging cables, make-up, water bottles, even a secret spot for your smart phone or wallet. If it sounds like overkill, or...

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Grocery shopping with a baby? You’ve got to see this cool shopping cart hammock.

The logistics of shopping with a baby in tow can be challenging, to say the least. But this clever creation from Binxy Baby changes everything. I can hear parents everywhere rejoicing. Related: From the OMG files: The portable changing table that hangs from the bathroom stall door. Roll it up, and you can easily toss this shopping cart hammock in a diaper bag or tote. We haven’t tested this ourselves, but from the instructions online, it looks super easy to install onto a shopping cart and to secure your child into the hammock. What I think is so smart is that by using the safety strap,...

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From the OMG files: The portable changing table that hangs from the bathroom stall door.

Until there’s a changing table in every restroom — male and female — one company has come up with an innovative solution in a portable baby changing table. And it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. The Baby Change-n-Go was designed by two moms with toddler twins, with the hopes of saving parents a whole lot of grief when the only option is to change your baby on the bathroom floor (ew) or in your lap. It’s small enough to fit in your diaper bag until you need it. Then you just unfold it, and basically slip over the top of any public restroom stall door. Fold it down, and you’ve got...

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Could this simple idea finally make potty training easier for parents?

I tried reward charts, treats, and downright begging when it came to potty training, and my daughter was having none of it. So when I heard about Pee-kaboo potty training stickers, created by a stay-at-home mother of two who lives in my own town (go New Jersey moms!) I was like, whoa. Could this be the help that desperate potty training parents have been looking for? Related: 9 terrific baby gift ideas to help baby (and mom) get more sleep The cool thing about these reusable stickers is that you can only see the cute designs — after they’re peed on. Kind of like the plus...

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Finally: an affordable convertible high chair that looks like it should cost way more.

New parents know — or soon learn — how ideal it is to find baby gear that grows with your baby, especially when you’re on a budget. Which is why we’re thrilled to discover the beautifully made, modern new Tuo Convertible High Chair from our friends at Skip*Hop. Honestly, we all tend to be fairly skeptical at this point about new baby gear that promises great looks and functionality all at a low price, but having had the chance to try a review unit for myself, well…score! Related: 3 more highchairs we love that grow with your kid If you’re not even considering the array of $1,500 (really) high chairs out...

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A play mat that teaches your baby how to speak emoji. (Insert winking face here.)

When my kids were babies and tummy-time touring their way throughout the house, it was a given that their play mat migrated to each room with them. And while I have fond memories of our jungle themed mat and odd interactive thingies (who doesn’t love a squeaking, googly eyed hippo, honestly?), I’m at least 98 percent sure my now-tech-loving littles would have preferred the Emoji Baby Play Mat. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Fun emoji gifts: For kids or kids at heart Exclusive to Land of Nod, this hand-quilted mat is just soft and squishy enough to be both comfy and sturdy as your baby strengthens her...

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4 amazing beauty wipes you didn’t know could do the job of messier products

There’s no denying to new parents that a bottomless stash of diaper wipes is essential in every way. But what’s awesome is how many beauty wipes are available for adults too, taking the place of messier products you might own to make our busy lives on-the-go a whole lot easier. I’m a wipes fan, but I’m awfully picky when it comes to ingredients. To earn a place in my own purse — and on my body — a wipe has to be non-toxic, gentle, and do a heck of a job, whatever its job. Whether you’re in the car, on an airplane, or sweating through your...

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3 new luxury double strollers that every trust fund baby will adore. (The rest of us can just covet from afar.)

Every once in awhile we love to check out the top-of-the-line baby gear that we might not be able to afford ourselves, but makes our fantasy wish lists. And these luxury double strollers are too gorgeous to ignore. Hey, maybe you got some cash for the holidays that’s burning a hole in your postpartum clothing pockets? In which case, take a look at these knock out options. Deep breath before checking the price tags. Related: 14 of the coolest baby gifts and gear we wish we had when we were new moms. (Yeah, just a little jealous.) CMP is an rstyle affiliate...

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How Boppy is making it easier for pregnant mamas to get some zzz’s | Sponsored Message

This is a sponsored message from The Boppy Company Finding a comfortable position when you’re pregnant — whether you’re sitting, laying down or sleeping — can be pretty challenging, which is why the new line of prenatal pillows from Boppy might just be the respite you moms-to-be are looking for. They’re all designed specifically for expectant moms to be used in bed, the couch, or wherever you’re trying to get comfortable. And the companion slipcovers help make cleaning a breeze. The uniquely-shaped Boppy Pregnancy Support Pillow with a Jersey Slipcover and upcoming Boppy Bump and Back Support Pillow can be used sitting up or laying down to give your back and...

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My holiday gift wish list: 5 splurge items I’d love for my baby! (Any family members listening?)

I tend to be a pragmatist when it comes to buying baby gear. I want great, smart products that won’t break the bank, so you won’t find me shopping for a diamond-encrusted baby rattle or a WiFi-enabled wipes warmer (is that even a thing?) anytime soon. But that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about some of the more luxurious baby gifts out there. High-tech, heirloom, handcrafted, and just plain awesome. So I searched through the Cool Mom holiday gift guides to share my own top holiday gifts I wish I had for my new baby. In other words, these are the things I won’t buy...

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Hilarious video from Naya Health: What if men could breastfeed? | Sponsored Message

This is a sponsored message from Naya Health If you’ve ever struggled with pumping breast milk in a public restroom, or hid in a supply closet or stairwell as a co-worker walked in on you, you know how challenging (and uncomfortable) pumping in the workplace can be. That’s exactly why Naya Health has developed a smart breast pump that’s getting a ton of buzz for revolutionizing every aspect of pumping. And now, they’re getting a ton of buzz for their hilarious new video. Here, they answer the hypothetical question that so many breastfeeding women have laughed about to themselves: What if men were the ones who had to breastfeed? Where’s our...

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8 of the coolest high-tech baby gifts that new parents will actually use | Baby registry essentials guide

There’s a ton of high-tech baby gear out there these days — but not all of it is stuff we’d actually use or recommend. I mean, just because you can invent a training potty with an iPad stand that doesn’t mean you should. So we put our heads together and took a good look at some of the very best high-tech baby gifts you can find, narrowing it down to 8 we think are definitely worth a spot on your own baby registry. Speaking of which, we’re thrilled to present this next post in our monthly Baby Registry Essentials Guide on behalf...

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Personalize a Stokke Tripp Trapp chair — a very special holiday gift for a very lucky child.

If you’re looking for a truly special holiday gift for a friend, family member, or for your own little bundle of joy, we think that the Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair, now available with free personalized engraving, is a fabulous option. We’re big fans of the Tripp Trapp at Cool Mom Picks. It’s a classic (seriously, it’s been around since the ’70s), it’s nice to look at (Scandinavian style is just the coolest), and it transitions from one stage to the next — year after year — your child’s once-beloved highchair becoming their homework desk chair. So we love that this chair can now have a truly...

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Rock-and-roll baby gear that helps you keep the dream alive.

As a parent, your head banging days may be over. And at five months pregnant, mine are coming to an end pretty soon. In fact, lately I’ve been spending much more time agonizing over the perfect lullaby playlist than attending music festivals or buying backstage passes to my favorite local bands. But it doesn’t mean I don’t miss it. Which is why I was stoked to discover Daphyl’s new (and growing) line of rock n’ roll-inspired strollers, sippy cups, and plush toys that really gives a new meaning to classic baby gear. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Chatting with Lisa Loeb...

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11 great baby gift ideas for second babies | Baby Registry Essentials Guide

Who says first-time moms need all the stuff? Even BTDT second-time around moms who have saved a bunch of their favorite items, could still use some new gear and gifts for second babies that make their life much easier. Especially if there’s a good spread between kids because wow, gifts for new moms just get better and better by the minute! So we’re so excited to put together this next installment of our Baby Registry Essentials Guide series on behalf of our partner, Gugu Guru, a smart online baby registry — which is truly a life saver for even second-time (or third or fourth-time, ahem) moms. You can find all...

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The most stylish tummy time blanket we’ve seen in…uh, ever?

After 11 years of parenting, I’m a pretty big believer in not buying baby gear that doesn’t grow with your child. That means floor mats dedicated exclusively to, say, tummy time isn’t at the top of my priority list. (As cute as they may be.) Instead, I’d throw down any clean blanket — or bath towel, if I’m being honest — and call it a day. But then I found the new Bliss round blanket from Little Giraffe, which is so perfect for playtime and, yes, tummy time. I think the cool, modern design is pretty enough that parents will want to use it long after their baby has...

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SoundBub: The cutest (and smartest) portable white noise machine ever.

I never used a white noise machine with any of my kids when they were babies, which may explain why they were such terrible nappers. Compare that to my friends, who’d come over for dinner and board games with their babies in tow. Their kids slept soundly in our room with a white noise machine running, while we hung out in the next room. Traveling with a plug-in white noise machine is clunky, though, so I’m happy to discover the SoundBub. This adorable white noise machine is now at the top of my baby shower gift ideas list. For parents who are on-the-go...

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