Category: Gear

3 of the best highchairs that grow with your kid. In other words, they’re worth the investment.

Now that I’ve had three kids, I’m a big believer in only spending money on baby gear that’s really worth it. That spendy bottle warmer you’ll use for oh, 3 months? Skip it. But a highchair that will literally last until your kids are in elementary school (or older) — that’s totally worth the investment to me. So, we’ve taken a look back at some of the very best highchairs we’ve had a chance to review over the years to find our favorites that will grow with your kids. In other words, you know you’re getting your money’s worth even after you’ve quit...

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Breastfeeding at work: 7 tips to help nursing moms make the transition

When I returned to work while breastfeeding my first daughter, I found myself sorely unprepared for everything it entailed. I can’t even begin to convey the frustration I experienced — though I’m sure a lot of you know just what I’d been through. Add that to sleep deprivation and it was a very difficult time for me. Cue crying behind my closed office door. Looking back, I realize there’s more I could have done prior to going back to work, to make the transition a whole lot easier. (Ah, hindsight, right?) Plus, now that there are so many more workplaces doing more for working...

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Cool backpack and lunch box sets that are perfect for tweens or teens

You’ve probably heard of Lululemon, but did you know that they have a special line for girls? Yep, ivivva offers cool activewear for girls, including a new line of backpack and lunch box sets my girls are fighting over. To be honest, it’s not really a line, so much as two sets, but no matter how many there are, they’re definitely very cool. The backpack is very slim but still has lots of room for everything your middle or high schooler needs to carry without it feeling bulky. There’s even a hidden laptop pocket for kids who need to bring...

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7 must-haves for breastfeeding moms | Baby Registry Essentials Guide

Next up in our Baby Registry Essentials Guide series, we’re excited to share 7 of our own must-haves for breastfeeding moms. And hey, just in time for National Breastfeeding Month — although of course, these are all fantastically useful gifts any month at all. We’re so happy to be able to bring you all this monthly series of essentials for new parents, thanks to our partner Gugu Guru, the brilliant online baby registry. If you’re expecting, or know someone who is, you’ll appreciate their personalized, unbiased product recos that they make based on your own lifestyle preferences and tastes, plus the expert guidance they offer along the way. Best...

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The coolest back to school printables: Lunch notes, planners, labels and more | Back to School Guide 2016

Back to school time isn’t just about shopping! (Not that there’s anything wrong with shopping, of course.) One of our favorite annual traditions is sharing our favorite back to school printables that help make the school year easier, more organized, and just more fun. This year, we’re sharing 22 favorites, most of them free! And we’re so pleased that this year’s Back to School Guide is made possible by our terrific partner BIC, who’s celebrating handwriting through their Fight for Your Write campaign. (And you all know how much we value handwriting, parents.) Visit the site, sign the pledge to encourage handwriting at home like we do, and they’ll...

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7 tricks to help kids pack their own school lunches. As in, them, not you!

We’re all for making those crazy school mornings as un-crazy as possible, which is why we’re big fans of having our kids pack their own lunches the night before. Yes, even our little ones! It can be done, promise. Not only does having kids pack their own lunches give you one less thing to do yourself (whoo!), but it’s a smart way to ensure they’ll actually eat what’s in their lunch box. And if they don’t, well, there’s no blaming you for that too-ripe banana or the strawberry yogurt they devoured yesterday, but claim they don’t like today.   We’re thrilled to get to bring you our top...

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5 benefits of breastfeeding for moms, that we should be talking about more

Like many moms who choose to breastfeed, I was fairly aware of the benefits of breastfeeding my first baby well before I started. But I actually didn’t know how many benefits there would be for me too, at least until I was pretty far along into nursing my first baby. The more I think about it, the more I realize how much it would have helped me to focus on those upsides during those early days and months when, admittedly, I was struggling a bit. And that goes for my second, third and fourth babies. (That’s me with number two up in the photo above. So cute!)   Our newest...

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The coolest backpacks for preschoolers and little kids | Cool Mom Picks Back to School Guide 2016

It seems like our annual Back to School Guide gets earlier each year, because hey – we’re here for you, parents! Whether you’re already scrambling to get those school shopping lists covered or you’ve got a good month left to track down the best backpack or lunch box or pencil case or kawaii eraser, we’ve got you covered. So we’re excited to kick off our back to school shopping recos with an amazing selection of the coolest backpacks for preschoolers and little kids! We’ve scoured the web to find the most adorably fun backpacks that are sized or designed just for little ones, who don’t...

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Finally, a beach towel that leaves the sand at the beach. Whoo!

My idea of a perfect day? Relaxing at the beach with a fun read while the kids play in the waves and never argue. Not even once. Okay, maybe that’s not so realistic, but what might make me almost as happy is a beach towel that sand won’t stick to. So, as you might guess, I was very excited to discover this new sand-free beach towel and put it to the test. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The very best beach umbrellas and tents for families, after a ton of research The construction of Sandusa sand-free beach towels (that’s pronounced “san-doosa,” by...

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The Baby Registry Essentials Guide: The Coolest Gifts for the Eco Mom

You know how much we love to seek out the very coolest baby registry essentials and must-haves, both as a group of moms who are searching for cool baby gifts for our own new additions, and as those who only wish we had them when ours were young ones. Especially when it comes to cool eco baby products that make you feel that much better about the items you’re buying. So we are beyond thrilled to have joined up with the most perfect partner, Gugu Guru, the brilliant online baby registry, for some of the coolest baby essentials. They make personalized, unbiased product...

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The very best beach umbrellas and tents for families, after a ton of research

You cannot even believe how much time I spent last summer tracking down the best beach umbrella. I finally went with my parents’ strongly recommended pick, which was a surprise one to me. (And you have no idea how strongly recommended it was, unless you a) know my parents or b) saw their 18 emails detailing just why it was the very best one and how they spend even more time researching products than I do and how I’d be crazy not to buy it.) Well, thanks to my parents and my own obsessive beach umbrella-searching skills, I’m here to share...

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Alpine Pluggies make flying with kids a whole lot less painful

I was cruising the eye and ear care aisle at CVS last week on vacation, waiting for my daughter’s ear infection prescription to be filled (womp, womp) and trying to find something that might help her ears for the plane ride home. On a whim, I grabbed a few packs of Alpine Pluggies for her (and for me, actually), and wow, I have to say that they made a huge difference for the plane ride home. Related: The cutest travel pillow for kids when they’re too big to fall asleep in your lap These special earplugs, available in sizes...

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The smartest way for new parents to save some money: Rent baby gear from Expectantly

Budgeting for a new baby can be overwhelming for many of us. You need clothes, diapers, a crib, a stroller — the list goes on. And on. While some items like rattles and burp clothes are relatively inexpensive, others — like a car seat and high chair or even crib bedding — can be beyond pricey. It’s hard to know where to splurge on something you’ll use for years (hint: go for the nice stroller) and where to save (skip the expensive bassinet you’ll use a couple months, at most). So, when I found out about the cool new site...

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Temporary safety tattoos: A life saver for parents of kids who like to wander.

We all know that theme parks, playgrounds, and big outdoor events can be pretty overwhelming places to bring younger children, especially if you have several to keep track of. And big distractions like fireworks, cotton candy, and costumed characters certainly don’t make it any easier to keep anyone from wandering off. Which is why we think these new Emergency Contact Temporary Tattoos we found from MadelinesBox on Etsy are genius. In the off-chance your child does stray from your side, whoever finds your little one will know exactly who to call, even if they’re too young to have it memorized. Our editor Liz shared the...

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Waterproof diaper bags that just happen to make the perfect pool totes

Even if you’re not in the market for a new diaper bag, you might want to give the waterproof diaper bags from TWELVElittle a second look. My kids haven’t been in diapers in years, but I’ve been using their new waterproof diaper bag daily because it makes a perfect pool tote, too. There’s plenty of room for sunscreen, snacks, and towels for three kids. And if you do have little ones, it’ll work well for hauling diapers and swim vests, too. Or, you can hook swim vests to the shoulder straps — wet or dry — without worrying about ruining a pretty bag....

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26 of the best car games and activities to keep kids happy without screens.

I was one of those parents who insisted that I’d raise the kind of kids who would play fun, screen-free car games on our family road trips, or perhaps watching the world whiz by while asking intelligent questions about all the sites and sounds around them. Sound familiar? Yeah. Well after one particularly long road trip, I quickly learned that sometimes screens are really, really useful for making an endless drive feel… not so endless. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve totally surrendered to the lure of electronics. There are times when all the screens need to go off so we can discover other ways to...

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Sponsored Message: Nanit may be the biggest thing to happen to baby monitors.

  This is a sponsored message from Nanit If you’ve ever lost sleep waiting impatiently for your baby to fall asleep — or worse, woken your little one up when you’ve just peeked in —  you need to meet Nanit, a tremendous new advancement in baby monitors. In fact it’s part baby monitor, part translator, part personal baby guru. And what new parent couldn’t use one of those? – Don’t miss a special limited-time offer below –  Nanit is designed to track everything about your baby’s sleep, no wearable required. You’ll have access to a wealth of information with ease through the nicely designed companion app, including data...

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7 smart sleepaway camp essentials that help stave off homesickness.

If your little camper is heading off to sleepaway camp this summer, possibly for the first time (sniff), you’ll likely receive from the camp a long list of all the essentials to pack — extra socks, bug repellent, water bottles, headlamps. But, on top of all those must-haves (and they really are), we think that a few special items that connect them to home can help make the transition from bed to bunk a little easier. We spoke to our experienced sleepaway camp parents around here, and put together 7 of our favorite ideas for sleepaway camp essentials that help stave off homesickness and ensure the transition...

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The best friend blankie your child is sure to love.

I have a soft spot for twee animal products in general, but when I received Lewis, the snuggly, adorable travel blanket with the sweet raccoon face, I found myself in a blissful, childlike state, wanting to run outside and climb the nearest tree. The Nomad Travel Blankets from EllieFunDay go beyond adorable though, with a mission to encourage kids to venture outside more often. And Amelia the Bunny, Marco the Panda, and Lewis the Raccoon are all just waiting to be unfurled for an impromptu picnic, flown proudly as a cape, or tucked under a little head for some serious stargazing. Related: 10 really...

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11 truly clever tips and tricks for camping with kids to make it fun and easy. (Well, easy as possible.)

If you’re up for the adventure, camping with kids can be a really fun, inexpensive way to get away for the weekend. While it’s admittedly not the best night’s sleep you’ll ever get (though really, what parent gets a good night’s sleep anyway?), I’m a big fan of the unplugged quality time you get when you camp with your family — hiking, cooking over the campfire, snuggling up in sleeping bags. (Provided you leave your devices at home or in the car, that is. Free tip, from me to you.) Of course, knowing what you’re doing makes the whole experience so much nicer, so as an...

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The EWG 2016 safest sunscreens for kids: which are most affordable?

Every year, we have turned to the Environmental Working Group’s Annual Guide to Sunscreens to help us make more educated decisions about what are the safest sunscreens to slather on our kids (and ourselves) each summer. But we often find that when you break down the prices, whoa — it’s expensive to get safe sunscreens for kids! Especially considering how much we’re using. So this year we thought we’d take a good look at their short list of the EWG Best Kids’ Sunscreens, find the average prices online (generally from Amazon, Drugstore.com, or the brand’s own website if the product isn’t widely available at...

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6 modern baby bouncers that are super stylish space-savers

Sometimes in the world of baby gear, less is definitely way more. These modern, space-saving baby bouncers capture this spirit in a big way. Their sleek designs mean your living room can look less like a mini gymnasium and more like smart, stylish adults live there. When my first child was born, I splurged on that deluxe set with all the bells and whistles, dangling toys, and musical buttons. My sister, on the other hand, chose a bouncer that was about as big as her diaper bag and folded up to slide under the sofa when not in use. Turns out her baby was just...

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14 of the coolest baby gifts and gear we wish we had when we were new moms. (Yeah, just a little jealous.)

If innovative baby gear is any indication, we can confidently say this is an awesome time to be expecting. My youngest just turned 6 years old, so I’m only a few years out of the baby stage, and yet there has been so much amazing change in baby gear even since he was an infant that I am left feeling just a wee bit jealous of all you new moms. From high-tech strollers that charge your phone to super smart breast pumps controlled by your phone — and even some gear that has nothing at all to do with phones — here’s our list of the coolest baby gifts and...

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The most awesome sleep masks, for a do not disturb kind of Mother’s Day.

Certain words are especially delightful to parents of babies and young children: Mama. Dada. Go take a nap honey, I’ll clean up. Are you with me? Once you’ve had kids, few things are as precious and elusive as sleep. Oh, sweet sweet sleep. That’s why I love the idea of these personalized sleep masks from The Sleepy Cottage on Etsy for an affordable, very thoughtful Mother’s Day gift. Our editor Liz has ordered a bunch herself over the holidays, and she swears by the craftsmanship and great service from Texas maker Sabrina Evans. Related: The coolest custom mother’s day gifts | 2016 Mothers Day Gift Guide There are...

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The new Cocoon multi-stage high chair keeps up with your growing child.

I had three kids in four years and learned very quickly how fast kids outgrow their gear. That’s why I love companies like Oribel, smart engineers who are creating modern, multi-stage products that are meant to last throughout several developmental stages. We’ve praised their designs before, like when they came out with their PortaPlay Convertible Activity Center that goes from an activity center to a play table so our kids can get many years use out of it. Still a favorite. And now, Oribel is introducing the Cocoon Complete High Chair, designed for kids as young as 6 months of age all the way up to 3 years. As they grow, the Cocoon grows...

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A hot new line of diaper bags from a designer who’s not so new to them at all.

I recently got wind of the hot new line of Newlie diaper bags created by Leslie Newton, who might be best known as the Leslie of Timi and Leslie. I have to say, I’m impressed. And I’m a mom who doesn’t impress that easily when it comes to accessories, whether they’re meant to hold spare diapers or not. As with so many diaper bags these days, Newlie diaper bags are designed to look like nothing of the sort. It’s only the a wipe-clean interior, zillions of pockets, and a sizeable insulated pocket on the inside of each bag that gives its primary use away. That pocket is perfect...

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gb Pockit: the heavy-duty umbrella stroller that fits in your bag.

When my first child was born I had no clue how much my heart could be so full with love . . . or how much my house could be so full of stuff. Bouncers and swings and piles upon piles of diapers and wipes and burp cloths. If space is at a premium for you too, then you’re going to want to take a look at the brand new gb Pockit umbrella stroller, which holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for smallest folding stroller. As in,, it’s so small you can hide it in a handbag. (Well, a large-ish handbag, not a...

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A fully reclining infant car seat from Cybex: Mamas, prepare your baby registry wish lists.

It takes a lot to wow us when it comes to car seats these days; there are just so many similarities among them, it’s rare when one stands out from the crowd. But if I were shopping for a new infant car seat right now — and (cough) money was no object — then the Cybex Cloud Q car seat from the stroller company we’ve come to love is the one I’d be all over. This infant seat has some remarkable safety features I haven’t seen anywhere else, but I think what will impress parents most is the fact that, outside the car, it converts from a car seat...

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The new BabyBjörn watercolor collection is a thing of beauty

Okay so maybe we didn’t completely buy those pastel Pantone colors of the year during the winter. But now? Spring! And just in time, BabyBjörn is totally on trend with a new line of baby gear they call the BabyBjörn Watercolor Collection. In fact, I get a little daydream-y just looking at all those icy blues and soft turquoises, and not because I’m jonesing for a new baby to stick in their carriers.  (Though if you have one, I’ll gladly ooh and ahh at you.) Not every color is available for every item. Like you’ll find our highly recommended BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light in...

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The Clek Mat-thingy. Because kids + cars = gross.

As a suburban mom of four, I live in my car. And as much as I try to tell my kids that this time we will not be eating in the car (don’t laugh too hard), I can never stick to that rule because, well, we’re all in it so much. That’s why the Clek Mat-thingy is so smart. Also, the name makes me chuckle every time I say it. Related: Tokidoki and Clek collaborate for some out-of-this-world car seats  Not only does the non-slip, waterproof Mat-thingy protect your seats against spills and messes, it keeps them safe from compression damage courtesy...

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