Category: 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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The best strollers to buy right now: What to look for, what to avoid, and which brands we’d buy again

If you’re trying to figure out the very best strollers for your family at this moment, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There are hundreds of models from dozens of brands, and it can be hard to tell which ones are worth heftier price tags — and which aren’t. Over the years, our staff of writers have tested everything from budget-friendly travel systems to high-end luxury strollers, and yes, there really is a noticeable difference between the two. We’ve talked to experts, we’ve talked to stroller makers, and most importantly we’ve talked to tons and tons of parents. We’ve been sent a lot of strollers and loaners...

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The GB Evoq Travel System: Making us rethink the need to own multiple strollers

It sometimes seems like there’s a new stroller on the market every week. Great for new parents looking for lots of choices, not so great when you have to make a decision about which one to get. For some families, though, there’s an easy way to pare down the options: Cost. Strollers can be so expensive these days, it can feel like you’ve got to make a choice between getting one and affording to clothe your new baby for the first five years of its life. (If in doubt, go with clothes.) Affordability is the very reason I love the GB line of strollers...

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8 awesome diaper bags and totes that give back to other mothers

The most essential (or at least the most fun) part of your new-mom gear collection just may be a great diaper bag. Since you’ll have it with you all the time, you want it to be well made, look great, and let you find that paci immediately when your baby starts to fuss. So while I’m waiting to be matched with a baby for adoption, I’ve been searching for a cool new diaper bag, and started to discover so many diaper bags that give back to moms in need. Because as essential as my diaper bag is to me as a new mom, the benefits these...

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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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The cutest travel pillow just for kids, when they’re too old to just fall asleep in your lap (sniff).

I admit that I still love that feeling when my tweens want to cuddle up next to me and rest their heads on my shoulder next to me on the plane. But I also admit — and yes, it’s a little sad — that one day you will not be so enamoured of that moment. So I’ve found possibly the most adorable travel pillow for kids ever. We discovered Kikkerland’s Zip Flip Travel Pillows for kids at the NY NOW gift show last week, and it was one of my kids’ absolute favorites. (More on those to come!) Related: What to buy a 7...

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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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The coolest personalized backpacks for kids? We have a serious contender.

Our friends at Tinyme, they of the generous free printables we often publish for our readers, happens to also design some things worth spending money on. In time for back to school, you have to check out their range of personalized backpacks and bags for kids, which is pretty mind blowing. From backpacks of all sizes to mini messengers, book totes, pencil cases, duffels, swim bags and more, you can chose from red, navy or pink and then get ready to spend like, oh, a better part of your day playing around with the hundreds of personalization options.     I cannot stop...

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Tentsile tents may be the coolest tents ever. If you’re okay with heights.

I love camping with my kids. Okay, scratch that. I love the idea of camping with my kids. But sleeping on the ground — not so much. So when I stumbled onto Tentsile tents on the web, I kind of geeked out. I cannot wait to try out one of these tents that is strung from trees, just like a hammock-treehouse hybrid, so the whole family can sleep together — without roots and rocks (and snakes) under our sleeping bags. Also, they look pretty freaking cool. Related: Handmade kid hammocks that rock. In all senses of the word. Tentsile tents use tensile strength (get it?) to...

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Emoji backpacks! Your kids want one, trust us.

We can’t believe it’s August and we’re already thinking about back-to-school shopping. Although what’s crazier is that some of you parents have to think about it now because your kids go back to school next week. WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH THIS WORLD? (Sorry, New Yorker here whose kids go back to school after Labor Day.) So as we start to poke around for the coolest school supplies to bring you in our upcoming annual back to school shopping guide, I came across these emoji backpacks and honestly, I just couldn’t wait another week to share them. Seeing how emoji is like the new...

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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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How to keep your kids from forgetting their lunch boxes. Maybe? Hopefully?

When I saw the brand new Skip Hop Forget Me Not backpack and lunch bag sets earlier this year at Toy Fair, it was like an instant, I HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT THIS. And now, at long last, they’re available for purchase from their site, our affiliate Amazon, or indie kids’ boutiques everywhere. The idea is so clever: Backpacks in little kid sizes that is smartly designed with a matching lunch pack that actually fits right into a zippered flap on the outside of the bag with a see-through window. If that window isn’t showing the lunch box pattern on...

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A temporary tattoo that keeps kids safe. Not just cool.

I always thought it was a clever idea to write your number on your young child’s arm with a Sharpie, should you be hitting a beach or a theme park where there’s even the slightest chance of getting lost. But I also know plenty of squirmy kids who do not want to have anything to do with that, especially as they get a little older. One trick: Make your kids memorize your phone number. (We started with my kids around three and remarkably, they nailed it.) Another really fun trick: The Emergency Contact Number Temporary Tattoo Watch. Fun, right? A box of 16...

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Volvo reinvents the child car seat, and wow.

We’re always looking for cool new safety innovations for children and since Volvo is synonymous with safety (thanks, advertising!) we’re not entirely surprised that they’re the first to reinvent family car travel with this Volvo child seat concept. Whoa, right? The premise is that the baby can remain in a rear-facing seat in the new Volvo XC90, only…in front. Then whomever is in the passenger seat has the ability to slide back. That way, the kiddo is in eyeshot of both the driver and another passenger, instead of one of us (ahem) climbing awkwardly into the rear over the seat back in the middle...

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6 cool sets of summer camp labels for kids, so that what goes to camp comes back from camp

One of the first rules of summer camp, other than Sunscreen Sunscreen Sunscreen, is to label every single thing your kids take with them. Including the sunscreen. While a Sharpie can do the trick on some products, we love colorful labels that affix to all of their things in seconds, and never accidentally bleed through a label onto the other side of a t-shirt. Related: Summer camp care package ideas so cool, the kids might even miss you. Maybe. So, I’ve put together 6 cool summer camp label designs for kids for different needs, including bundled camp packs to help save you money....

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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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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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Bugaboo + Van Gogh: Two Dutch masters in one amazing collaboration.

I just laid my eyes on the new Bugaboo Van Gogh special edition stroller, featuring Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic Almond Blossom design on the Bugaboo Bee³ stroller, and I’m drooling. Or swooning. Or both, maybe. What a perfect collaboration between the iconic Dutch stroller brand and the country’s Van Gogh Museum. It is, hands down, perhaps most stunningly gorgeous stroller I’ve ever seen, should you be the type who would even see a stroller that way. But you know, a great impressionist master can do that to a piece of baby gear. I love that Bugaboo didn’t do a stylized representation...

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The hobo diaper bag that keeps you organized when you most need it.

With a new baby joining our family soon, I’ve been keeping my eye out for a new diaper bag that is stylish enough to work as a handbag when I don’t have my kids in tow. But at the end of the day, a diaper bag is still a diaper bag–with all those compartments built in for bottles and rash cream and other things that spill everywhere. Well, the very smartly designed Idaho hobo diaper bag from Pacapod is just my speed. Not too fancy, not too designery, not too “oh no, I got what on it the first day out?” More like a Herschel Supply kind...

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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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We’re mod for Petunia’s chic new diaper bags

Maybe it’s because spring is officially in the air, but mamas, I am definitely in love. With a diaper bag. More specifically, with the new Mod collection from Cool Mom Picks favorite Petunia Pickle Bottom. With three modern diaper bags that any mom — or accessory aficionado — will find useful and stylish, the Petunia Pickle Bottom Mod collection features chic geometric patterns in three colors. Though the ex-New Yorker in me thinks you can never go wrong with black, the electric citrus and paprika would brighten up any stroller they’re attached to this spring. Related:  10 of the best diaper bags under $150     If size and versatility are...

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Teething toys so beautiful, they’re like your baby’s first accessory.

Next to sleeping and feeding, teething is probably the most-talked about baby topic on the hundreds of Facebook mom groups I’m a member of–probably because it always impacts sleeping and feeding too. Thus, my desperation to find cool teething toys that also have a little style to them since I know I’ll be looking at them every single day for ages. Mom favorite Chewbeads is already cornering the market on beautiful teethers for babies disguised as jewelry, and now they’re out with the 100% safe silicone Chewbeads Baby Gramercy Stroller Toy which conveniently attaches to car seat handles, stroller toy bars and even your baby’s jungle gym....

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11 of our very favorite travel toys and books for kids to help make those miles pass quickly

If Spring Break or Easter has you heading out by plane, train, or automobile, you may be wondering how to keep your kids happily occupied beyond the iPad, as you travel from Point A to Point B. And since we all know how hard it is to hear “are we there yet?” for the 200th time, I’ve pulled together 11 of the most portable, fun, and quiet travel toys for kids that we can all vouch help make the miles whiz by. CMP is an rstyle affiliate   Related: Road trip help for families: Tons of sanity savers, tips and our favorite essential products    Magnetic Toys I...

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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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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 new Bottlerocket Water Bottle from PlanetBox: Is it worth the price?

When PlanetBox, the makers of those uber popular stainless-steel lunch boxes, asked if I’d like to check out their new Bottlerocket water bottle, I didn’t even blink before saying yes. I recently ditched juice boxes from my kids’ lunches to save a little money and cut down on their sugar intake, which means they now fill and pack their own water bottle every day. So I’m always looking for the exact perfect one. However at $28, this is probably one of the priciest water bottles I’ve seen for kids — a good $10 more than the popular Klean Kanteen bottle. So I...

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A fancy stroller liner that’s almost as fabulous as that Bugaboo.

When it comes to high-end infant strollers, it’s still hard to beat the love parents have for the Bugaboo Chameleon. We appreciate its lay-flat bassinet for babies who are always somehow ready to sleep riiiiight when we need to leave the house. But here’s the thing: babies are messy. So when you’ve made an investment in a stroller like a Bugaboo, you might want to consider one more accessory, like a stroller liner, to help keep the fabric looking new. – Don’t miss a 50% off limited time offer below – Years ago, Liz discovered NaturalMat, the makers of outrageously good, if pricey, handmade and...

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