Category: Gear

Herschel toddler backpacks: The kinds that won’t break before circle time

We featured Canadian brand Herschel in our 2013 Backpacks for Big Kids Guide because we’re so impressed with their sturdy construction and stylish design. Now we’re digging on the the Hershel toddler backpacks at My Sweet Muffin, which are slightly smaller but just as long-lasting. because as parents know, toddlers sure are rough on their backpacks for people without homework. I even discovered a faulty zipper on my kindergartner’s first bag–right after he tore off the tags on the day before school started. Yay. With gender neutral colors, padded straps, and plenty of reinforcement, we love Herschel Supply’s Plaid Survey Bag, Cobalt Blue Bag,...

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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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These cute personalized lunch boxes that go beyond monograms and first names

The sting of summer ending can be hard to bear, but I know that accessories always make me feel better. I mean uh, my kids. So take a look at this adorable line of personalized lunch boxes  by Itzy Ritzy for, of all places, Shutterfly. Maybe it will help? We have covered many lunch boxes,  but the Lunch Happens lunch bags may be the first line I’ve seen where you can personalize a lunch box with your kid’s name and pictures. It being Shutterfly and all. The designs are pretty cute — robots, fruit with faces, colorful photo bubbles. Once you’ve picked one, it’s really easy to upload photos from your...

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Cool messenger bags for back to school. For you and the kids.

I love pretty much every part of back to school shopping, but picking out the new school bag might just be the best part. And it’s even more fun these days now that there are so many cool options, like these cool messenger bags (and backpacks) from The Medium Control on Etsy.   If you’re shopping for a big kid or yourself, I’d definitely take a whirl around their cool shop full of fun printed messenger bags and backpacks. I’m partial to the old school turntable bag myself, or the Eames chairs backpack. Monogrammed bags are a cool way to help identify your...

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Panda school supplies: Our vote for cutest 2014 back to school trend.

We thought hedgehogs, foxes, even narwhals would hit it big as the hot animal for kids his year. And yes, they have. But of all things, we’re also noticing a ton of adorable panda school supplies and we can’t say we’re complaining. If your kids awwww at them as much as ours do, here are some of our favorites.       Panda preschool Backpack and Panda Zoo Lunchie ($20, $14 Skip*Hop) What preschooler or little kid would not want to skip to school holding one–or both–of these cute panda supplies in their paws. Actually, my seven-year old likes the lunch...

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GB Ellum stroller review: Lightweight, compact and affordable, it’s a parent’s dream

Ever get the feeling that a new stroller will cost about as much as baby’s future college education? Stroller trends over the years have certainly made it seem that way. Which is why I love finding awesome strollers at prices that won’t prevent our little geniuses from actually being able to go to college, and the brand new GB Ellum stroller is one of them. We’re talking, the $200 range. And that’s pretty darn good these days. It’s a simple stroller, perfect for city strolling — so no off-roading with this one — and designed specifically for “fashion forward parents.” Heh....

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The Creeper ate my homework!

If Minecraft ate a bunch of your kids’ time this summer, this Minecraft Creeper backpack is the perfect way to head back to school, where sadly, Stampy Longnose videos are not part of the daily curriculum. Of course teachers will not accept “The Creeper ate my homework,” as a viable excuse but that shouldn’t stop your young Minecraft fan from begging for a creeper backpack to start the school year. With oodles of compartments, pockets, organizers, and sturdy double zippers, the Minecraft Creeper backpack from our pals at ThinkGeek is an unusually savvy way to merge video games and a workhorse of a...

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10 of the best diaper bags under $150 that any mom of multiples (or any over-packer) will love

Like a lot of you out there, I can’t live without my favorite handbags, yet for some reason, diaper bags were not at the top of my priority list when I began preparing for baby number one. Now I know better. However I’ve run into trouble recently, in my attempt to plan for baby number two, in finding a stylish, affordable diaper bag with room to spare. Room for bottles and sippys. Room for extra clothes. Room for wipes of every kind. Room for what-are-those-things-called again? Oh right, diapers. For two kids this time. We’ve covered so many fantastic diaper bag brands over the years, and now mainstream handbag designers...

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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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SIGG water bottles for kids get an international makeover

They may not get filled with anything more exotic than ice water, but a new travel series SIGG water bottle for kids will get your brood thinking about far-away places while they sip. With six different cities represented in the series there is bound to be a little wanderlust around the lunch table once school is back in session. The Paris bottle is parfait for little Francophiles. Or let them pick from London, Shanghai, Switzerland, Germany, and New York City bottles, all illustrated with iconic images from the location.While there is a boy and girl version of each bottle, starring either “Max” or “Ruby” (oddly) on the front, the color scheme and illustrative...

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Bumbleride Indie 4: Lightweight and off-road ready.

I’ve owned one too many strollers in a quest for one that my child can grow with, that can handle my local terrain, and also not break the bank. So when I heard that Bumbleride, a favorite of ours, was coming out with a new “crossover” stroller called the Indie 4--lightweight enough for everyday errands with four off-road-ready wheels–I was eager to test one out. In the past, living around NYC, I never owned a car that I had to pack a stroller into, so I wasn’t as concerned about a stroller’s weight or how easy it was to fold. I only cared if its wheels were...

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Handmade travel bags and accessories that get you more excited for travel.

I have an obsession with toiletry bags and dopp kits. As in, I believe that you can’t have too many for travel. I use them for my many cords and adapters, for wayward pens and a small notepad, for toiletries of course, and even for underthings–tuck a little lavender sachet in one and fight that not-so-fresh feeling on the road. Ha. So I got all happy finding the beautiful handmade travel bags and pouches from Hallie Gray that we’re carrying at our indie shop through GREAT.LY. Clockwise: Tribal Stripe Toiletry Bag, Zip Pouch Travel Bag , Raspberry Toiletry Travel Bag, Moshi Toiletry Travel Bag They’re all...

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The Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag is back, redesigned, and better than ever. Can we talk pockets?

It’s safe to say that Skip Hop revolutionized the diaper bag category with its cool modern twist on the new mom essential accessory. When it launched its first Duo diaper bag ten years ago, parents finally had a sleek and durable bag that wasn’t bright pink or emblazoned with teddy bears for all their baby stuff. (Yes, new parents, there was a time that those were your only choices; hard to believe, right?) Skip Hop just announced the new and improved version of their Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag, with updated extras like a tech pocket that’s easily accessible and will hold most smart...

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Camp labels: The bane of your summer parenting existence made easier

I admit I have been lax in the clothes labeling department, inadvertently donating way too many cardigans and water bottles to mysterious children at our school. But now that my kids are going to summer camp for the first time, it has been mandated in no uncertain terms, ALL ITEMS MUST BE CLEARLY LABELED WITH THE CAMPER’S NAME. So of course I turned to our label mainstay, Mabel’s Labels, whose labels actually stay on well and don’t get all worn away in the wash. Turns out their personalized label camp combo which they launched about 6 years ago is now wonderfully updated with loads more design...

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A new hedgehog backpack from Skip Hop. Like that won’t be the most popular thing ever.

Skip Hop is inextricable from my memories of my boys in their early years. My older son started preschool with a frog backpack and ended Pre-K with a very well worn monkey on his back. My three-year-old is currently toting the fox around on his tiny shoulders, but the replacement this September will undoubtedly be the adorable hedgehog backpack. And you may know how we feel about hedgehogs. He was just added to the Skip Hop Zoo Pack lineup this month, along with a pretty butterfly and kids will love them.   Matching butterfly and hedgehog lunch boxes— which Skip Hop refers to as the cutesie “Zoo Lunchies”–are...

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7 cool snack containers for kids that beat plastic bags

We’ve got a gaggle of snackers in our homes, so cool snack containers for kids are an absolute must. They’re a far more eco-friendly choice over plastic bags, which as we all know by now not only saves waste but plenty of money over the long run. Plus, we’ve found that packing our own snacks before we head out actually forces us to make healthier choices for the kids when we’re on the go. Let’s admit it–rest stops and c-stores can be filled with some less ideal temptations when you’re already starving. We’ve rounded-up seven of our own favorite reusable snack containers that are...

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Is the innovative Taga Bike Stroller worth the price tag? Here’s the real scoop.

Last month the, Taga Bike began selling in the US after six years in Europe, and I’ve been fascinated by this innovation in biking for parents, and the whole bakfiet trend that’s slowly making its way to our shores.  I totally see the appeal of a bike-stroller hybrid like the Taga; there is a cute outdoor shopping center about a mile from my house, and I’ve frequently thought how nice it would be to ride my bike down there, shop a bit, grab some groceries, and head back home with my four-year-old, who isn’t big enough to ride his own bike that far himself. And...

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What to pack for kids: From spoons to scooters, 9 surprising items that make family travel easier and more fun

It’s officially the season for travel (whoo!) and whether you’re planing it, driving, or taking the subway uptown for a picnic in the park, we’re all for getting out with the kids. A top question from our readers is always “but what do I pack!!??” (Number of exclamation points not exaggerated.) Well, you’ve come to the right place because we’re huge advocates of traveling with kids, and we do it ourselves, a lot. Even Kristen, and she has four of them! So while yes, you need clothes and snacks and crayons, on behalf of our awesome new partner Micro...

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If you can’t run away to the circus, run away to camp with the circus in your lunch bag.

As I start to evaluate my kids’ lunchboxes and decide which will actually hold up through summer camp, and which require a loving send-off, I come across these wonderful new lunch bags for kids and coordinating accessories from our friends at ISAK. There’s a wonderful, quirky collection filled with Scandinavian style and color that includes a lunch bag, bento boxes, a plastic water bottle and a vacuum-packed flask for hot and cold drink.  And if circus isn’t your theme, I also love the playful purple set with their signature happy girls across the lids.         They’re adorably colorful...

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7 celebrity diaper bags we’re drooling over from affordable to whoa.

We have to admit: sometimes it’s fun to spy into the lives of the rich and famous to see what baby gear they use. So this week we thought we’d check out a few celebrity diaper bags, should you need Halle Berry’s or Brad Pitt’s style guidance. Yes, cool dads carry diaper bags too. And even cooler, he’s carrying one that’s fairly affordable. Note: if you want to see celebrity babies, you won’t find them here. We respect and support the paparazzi photo ban of celebrity kids.   The chic leather satchel at top, which happens to be Jessica...

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Earth Day pick: Your PlanetBox lunch box gets even cooler with the help of Jack Johnson

PlanetBox eco-friendly stainless steel lunch boxes are a favorite for my kids and me. Now, through an Earth Day partnership with kid-friendly folk musician Jack Johnson, they’re making school environmental education better too, and I love that so much. PlanetBox’s bento-like boxes are pricy, so let me start there and explain why I’ve found they’re totally worth the investment. They are free of lead, phthalates, BPAs, and any other new, bad chemicals we don’t know about yet–and they’re designed to last forever. Hopefully not “landfill forever” but forever as in, we’ve had ours for years and they still pop out...

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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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The coolest travel journals for kids to help them remember every awesome moment

Travel journals for kids are such a brilliant idea. I mean, what kid doesn’t want to remember every detail of a family vacation in his or her own way? A little drawing of the world’s largest yoyo you saw in California, a ticket from the museum in Madrid, or a list of things you want to see when you land in NYC for the first time–they’re all amazing memories, and they deserve to be preserved in a really cool journal. Here are some of our favorite travel journals made just for kids, from DIY projects to ones you can...

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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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The new designer diaper bags from Timi & Leslie hold a lot. Because heaven knows moms carry more than diapers with them.

I’ve been at war with my bags. Like all moms I know, I carry around a lot of stuff so I gave a big cheer when I saw the new designer diaper bags from Timi & Leslie that join the ranks of the stylish diaper bags that the label is famous for. While I’m years past the baby stage, my everyday tote still needs to have generous room to fit my usual cargo load of stainless steel water bottles, Mac Air, and baggies of snacks, plus the essentials like keys and wallet. I have sworn not to be one of those moms who...

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Sure, I let my toddler drink soda! Just kidding.

Oh, those shiny, shiny cans of soda pop that your children look at so longingly. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could have the shiny outside without the sugar inside? Well, thanks to the clever design of these Cozy Cans reusable drink cups for kid from the awesome folks at Beatrix NY, your kids can have all of the beverage flash and panache with none of the high-fructose corn syrup.   These environmentally-friendly, lead and BPA-free, bright and sassy, vacuum-insulated cans with “brand names” like Dino-licious and Bubbly Bug are made to keep liquids hot or cold. The stainless steel construction feels very sturdy and...

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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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