Category: Baby Gear

8 great cars for big families that fit 3 car seats safely in the second row

I still remember car shopping when I was pregnant with my third child, trying to figure out which cars for big families would be right for me. As in, I didn’t want a minivan, and I wanted my car to safely fit three car seats, for my three kids under four. To be honest, I had absolutely no idea where to start, and it turned out to be something that dealers really didn’t know too much about either. Not fun. If only I could have thought to check out our newest partner, Cars.com, which is a tremendous help for families who are car shopping. It actually features a wealth of...

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6 innovative products for babies with multiple uses, so you can use them for years past the infant stage.

Having a new baby is exciting and fun and…crazy expensive. We’ve all been there, it can be hard figuring out whether you splurge on the crib, or get a cheaper crib and spend more on all those cute clothes and room decor accessories and infant toys. It’s even harder before you even know what you or your baby will like. And it’s especially hard when you kind of want to buy everything that’s the very best you can afford because, after all, this is your baby. But as always, we’ve got your back! Our biggest tip is that if you are...

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What’s black and white and cute all over?

How cool is this world map muslin baby blanket from Modern Burlap? I saw it and was instantly taken with this shop, that features some truly lovely baby gifts. Some nearly as cool as the map. (Ha. No, really lots of them are cool. It really is a great shop.) What makes their designs special though, is that the entire collection is in black in white. Not just is that totally on trend for both home and nurseries, but it’s smart. After all, what colors do babies see best? Exactly. Take a look at some of the adorable baby blankets in the shop and...

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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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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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9 travel essentials for babies that are worth the money

Going on a vacation with a baby can be a lot of work, but if there’s anyone who needs to get away and relax for a while it’s a new parent. (We support you, new parents!) We have all packed for a lot of trips over the years, and we’ve put our heads together to figure out which travel essentials for babies are great to have on hand — and which are totally unnecessary. Some of these are splurges, some are bargains. But I really think they’re all great values because they do a great job at what they’re supposed to do. After all, your...

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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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A potty training reward system we like, if you can get past the name

First: A caveat. The name Poop ‘n Pull makes us all laugh every time. So much so, that we almost dismissed it just on the name alone. But on closer look, this is a seriously smart potty training reward system for parents of young kids ready to ditch the diapers. And if you’re in the midst of that fun phase of parenting, then we know you may be willing to take all the help you can get. Even if it’s a name that older kids will have a field day with. This parent-invented device is essentially a small plastic container that you can hang on...

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The baby booster seat you’ll be sad to outgrow.

As you might imagine, we see a lot of baby gear ’round these parts (yes, I’m still a southern girl at heart) and that includes all kinds of booster seats. But the new Mamas & Papas Baby Bud booster is worth a look for several reasons, not just because it’s nice to look at. Of course looks are probably not the most critical feature when it comes to boosters, this one’s definitely easier on the eyes than most I’ve seen, in a lovely neutral putty color, along with some more colorful options like lime and teal. Hey, if you’re going to look at it in your dining room every day...

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A modern baby bounce chair without all the bells and whistles. And that’s a good thing.

One of the best new-mom tips I ever received was to invest in a nice baby bounce chair. My BTDT friends swore that we’d use it every single day, and they were right. I’ve had a few over the years, and by far my favorite were the simple, minimalist rockers that just let my babies bounce at their own whim—rather than the battery-operated, light-up, talking and vibrating chairs that can be overwhelming to me, much less my tired infant. Now that I’m waiting for baby number four, I would love to get my hands on the beautiful Wave Wave baby bounce chair from Babyhome (the...

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The BabyBjorn bouncer gets a modern makeover with polka dots

I’m determined to keep the baby clutter to the necessary minimum for this second round of parenting, and not a wipe warmer more. (Actually, not a wipe warmer at all.) We misplaced a few of our essential items, though, including the trusty baby bouncer so what great timing to discover the new BabyBjorn Bouncer Balance Soft from the BabyBjorn Dots by Karin (as in, the company’s art director Karin Hoxster) collection that’s exclusively at Kohls. I was raised in a house designed almost entirely in black and white, so this very cool modern polka dot collection caught my eye right away. It’s exactly what I have been looking for —...

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10 completely over-the-top, absolutely gorgeous, seriously splurgy baby gifts for a lucky kid (that’s not ours)

One of the obvious—and awesome—perks of writing for Cool Mom Picks is that I get to scope out the newest, coolest products for moms. And sometimes, those products fall into the I-can-only-dream, outrageously chic, over-the-top gorgeous category. Then again, sometimes we get emails make us ask, are these for real? Here are ten seriously splurgy baby gifts I’ve seen lately, in no particular order. If you’re a 90201-er or $4500 for a crib doesn’t blow your mind, have fun. My wish list can be your shopping list.   1. Silver Cross Kensington Pram Stroller, $2,750 Feel like Kate Middleton when you stroll your baby around town; she has one...

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Shake it up baby.

In my early days of parenting, finding beautiful handmade baby gifts was something you really had to work on. But now, they’re popping up everywhere. And as we try to pare it down to just our favorites we’re happy to discover Cheengoo who just might make the cutest crocheted baby rattles in the world. Besides cute, the handmade rattles are totally eco-friendly, crocheted from 100% pesticide-free bamboo yarn that makes them super-soft, naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic. That may sound like marketing speak until you think about how much your newborn is going to have these against his sensitive skin–or in that sensitive mouth. (Fact.) Plus they’re made by...

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A fashionable pacifier clip? Who knew.

Teething babies have been sinking their chompers into colorful, fashionable and safe Chewbeads ever since their bracelets and necklaces started appearing on the coolest new mamas. And now, along with their toddler-friendly teethers and playful older-kid Juniorbeads, they’ve come up with their own line of pacifier clips to keep many babies’ favorite mouth accessory right where they want it. Chewbeads’ “Where’s the Pacifier?” Pacifier Clip keeps those pesky binkies attached with a cute silicone clip tethered to their trademark soft beads that are safe to chew on, and bright enough to find should they become lost in a pile of stuffed animals. Even better, some of those...

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Raise your hand if you’d like your kid’s food to stay on the plate, not on the floor.

Meal time with a toddler can feel like a special kind of hell. Aside from picky eating, the real frustrations for me came in when my little eaters managed to throw what seemed like all of their food on the floor. If you’re the type of parent who spends countless hours pureeing your own organic yams, then food waste is especially irritating. Then again…it’s especially irritating for those of us who put a few Cheerios on a plate and call it a snack. Let’s just agree that extra clean-up stinks no matter what. Enter Adi, the brand new Stay Put Plate that I am so...

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Eco-friendly baby bags to organize your mother load

As we prepare for baby #2, I dug out our old, flattened diaper bag, and I’m suddenly revisiting the idea of ditching it and just working with a cool tote. Luckily someone has gone a step further and invented an adaptable solution. Check out Mother Load eco-friendly baby bags. Mother Load bags are the brainchild of another mom who just couldn’t get used to conventional diaper bags, and wanted to use her own bags to adapt her packing approach instead. She created these eco-friendly mesh and nylon bags to help sort and organize her load o’ mom stuff and keep the chaos to a minimum. While yes, you...

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7 tips for keeping your car seat clean. Or, mostly clean. We’re realists.

Having lived through hundreds of road trips with dozens of children between us all, we’re no strangers to the joys (ahem) of keeping your child’s car seat clean. Or at least, attempting to. So on behalf or our newest sponsor, Evenflo, makers of some of our favorite car seats, we’ve got lots of great ideas for you, from a few BTDT moms who’ve seen (and smelled and wiped) it all. Besides, have you seen the new Evenflo ProComfort line of car seats? Gorgeous. And we bet you’d like to keep them that way as long as possible. Especially because this line...

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The ultimate cute self closing pacifiers for germaphobe parents

None of my kids had any interest in baby pacifiers, which was not for lack of trying on my part, let me tell you. If they had, I know that my germaphobic tendencies mean that I would have carried around lots of extra clean binkies and pacifier wipes, and  tried to heed the urging of my Cool Mom compadres to never invest in a useless pacifier sterilizer. But here’s something up my alley without a big investment: the Keep-it-Kleen baby pacifiers from RaZbaby. We first discovered these self closing pacifiers years ago, and since then they’ve added a ton of new adorable designs–I totally love how retro the...

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Happy birthday Prince George! Today, our babies suck British binkies in solidarity with you.

I am not a big royal watcher but I can’t help but peek at all the adorable photos circulating of Prince George this week as he reaches his first birthday today. I can’t even imagine what he’s going to to be getting for gifts: A new pony? An original Banksy of his likeness?  One of these outrageous children’s playhouses perhaps? (And here we all are wondering whether we should get our own one-year-olds a new outfit or a small toy.) In honor of the royal milestone, we thought we’d send a shoutout to British baby company Tommee Tippee which hit American shores about four years ago, and  now...

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HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper totally reinvents the bassinet

Waiting for someone to build a better bassinet? Well exciting news, expectant parents: HALO, creators of those cozy, fool-proof sleepsacks we love, is launching a bassinet called the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper, and trust me when I say it’s a game-changer. (Get it? Bassinet + Nest? Bassinest.) Now I will say that when I had my first baby last summer, I was showered with tidbits of new mom advice, one of which was not to buy a bassinet no matter how adorable I thought one would be. I was told that a bassinet would take up too much room (a hot commodity where we lived), delay sleep-training,...

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Lil’ Sidekick toy strap for babies: The alternative to picking up that doll that your kid flings out of the stroller 100 billion times.

It’s been a while since we found a cool toy strap for babies and their strollers–as in, so long, that item isn’t even available anymore. So it’s nice to discover  Lil’ Sidekick, which keeps any item tethered to wherever your baby is sitting, and keep it from falling (or uh, “falling”) onto the ground. My baby is at the age where she is very grabby and will put anything in her mouth. But her coordination isn’t quite there, so whatever she grabs and gums, she inevitably drops. Over and over again. You with me mamas? If so, you’ll love Lil’ Sidekick, s a...

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5 ridiculous baby products that seem like April Fool’s Day jokes…but aren’t

Every now and then we see ridiculous baby products that make us wonder if they’re real or…if they’re April Fool’s Day jokes left over from years past. Turns out, these five crazy baby products are not jokes at all. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t make us laugh. Or gasp. Or encourage some parents somewhere to think, “hey, I need that!”  We’ll chalk it up to pregnancy brain. We’ve all been there. You get a free pass.   1. The Baby Mop. Hey, your baby’s rolling around on the floor anyway, might as well put him to good use....

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Chewbeads’ new soft baby rattle and teether is so chic it could pass as a bracelet. That rattles.

A baby rattle has to be one of the most iconic baby gifts of all time so we love looking for cool ones. We’ve found some amazing wooden rattles and soft rattles out there, but one of my favorites may be the brand new Mercer soft baby rattle from one of our favorite mom-run brands, Chewbeads. It’s not plastic, but rather a 100% food-grade silicone with no BPA, phthalates, lead, or cadmium, just like their necklaces for moms and their awesome new Juniorbeads line. And since babies chew on everything, whether it’s a rattle that doubles as a teether or not, we’re...

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A chic play mat that matches your living room more than it matches a neon explosion

There are many times I’ve considered permanently covering the floor in butcher paper to protect it from the ketchup and rice that always miss my kids’ mouths at mealtime. Same goes for those days my son paints on his easel. Although I’ve considered sacrificing a few old patchwork quilts sent to us as baby gifts, I another option is the chic, wipeable new Posh Play Mat.  Unlike most kids’ play mats that come in juvenile patterns, the Posh Play Mat is made with PVC-free faux leather (so no carcinogens) and embossed with a faux reptile pattern that’s very Fashion...

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Massaging teethers for babies: Preferable to letting them chew on the cat’s tail.

My kids were mouthers. You know, the kind who learned to crawl, then proceeded to put every single thing into their mouths for the next, oh, three years. So I can pretty much guarantee that CMP fave, innobaby, would have had a place of honor in my great bag of teethers I carried everywhere, if these new baby teethers had been around back then. Their new line of fruit-themed Teethin’ Smart ez grip Massaging Teethers is totally adorable, even if the name is as much a mouthful as the teethers themselves. And with new colors for some of their...

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A Giggle sale that new parents should be flocking to.

Welcome to that time of year we love most. (No, not our birthdays.) It’s sale time, and there’s great deals all over the web right now including a sale at Giggle, one of our favorite shops for babies and kids–and you can find more than just winter clothes you won’t need until next year. In fact, you can get another 15% off for a limited time (see info below for details). Here, some of our faves that we’d snatch up while you can, from baby clothes and gear to toys to seriously great discounts on strollers. Above: The penguin soapster from Skip*Hop...

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Calling all germaphobes: booger-free shopping carts, swings, and high chairs

I have a confession to make: I used a grocery cart cover obsessively with my first child. Now that that’s out of the way, I have another confession to make: I never used one with my second kid. And with my third? Not a chance. But the germaphobe in me would have loved to. I just couldn’t stand carrying that big, bulky thing around. But now there’s a very cool option available–and I definitely would have taken this with me everywhere. If only the Cool Wazoo had existed way back when! This intriguing new product isn’t just a shopping cart cover....

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You can finally stop threatening to destroy whoever wakes the baby.

You know how it goes. You spend an hour rocking the baby to sleep, carefully tiptoe to the crib, nail the arm-to-mattress transfer, and slip out the door. You’re home free. You’re almost downstairs to the brownies, wine, and Hannibal. And then some horrible monster comes home and closes a door, and WHAMMO. Tears–until now. The Latchy Catchy is a nifty little device that slips over your doorknobs to ensure that all closing doors are silent, happy, friendly closing doors. It’s thick enough to keep the door tightly shut and fits all door shapes and sizes–even French or lever...

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What to buy for twin babies? Reader Q&A

Q: I’m having twins and I need everything. Where do I start? Please help! -Julia A: For this post, we’ve called upon friend, blogger, and twin mom Kelcey Kintner for some first person advice. Twins! Yay! Wait, why are you hyperventilating? Ha. Kidding. I know it can be pretty daunting to figure out what you need when you’re expecting not one but two wriggly bundles of joy. I can’t help you take care of them (seriously, don’t even ask), but as a mother of twins, I can absolutely tell you what you really need to buy or borrow. And...

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The new Phil & Ted’s Poppy high chair converts to a not-so-high chair

You know what’s always a major disappointment? When an amazing company like Phil & Ted’s releases a great new baby item after my babies are already too grown up to need it. And now they’ve gone and created a high chair that almost makes me want to have more babies. Almost. The new Poppy high chair is a very nearly birth-control-defying product. The sleek new chair is such a perfect design meant to grow with your child, that I totally wish I had one in my kitchen right now. For everyone with a baby: you will want to take...

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