October 19th, 2012
Tucked between Anna Dello Russo and Maison Martin Margiela comes an H&M collab that is too cute for words.
Consisting of everyday threads and a few very adorable Halloween costumes for kids (we have a soft spot for the frilly dress, $69.95, and flamingo chapeau, $19.95), the All for Children collection is style and substance: 25 per cent of proceeds will be donated to UNICEF.
It’s been a while since we trick or treated to collect pennies for the organization so we’re happy to do our part while outfitting little ones in possibly the cutest clothes we’ve ever laid eyes on. —Christine Laroche
October 12th, 2012
The bastion of all things cool, who knew lower Manhattan was now run by hipsters under four feet tall? Herewith, our family guide to New York City’s Triangle Below Canal Street.
Our toddler didn’t say boo about the ostrich-embossed leather walls or floor to ceiling windows at the Smyth hotel, but she loved the lobby’s retro robot collection and plush leather swivel chairs. Actually, we did too. Rooms from $299, 85 West Broadway, New York, www.thompsonhotels.com
While Dad is on duty upstairs, curl yourself into a tufted banquette at the Smyth’s stylish lobby bar. The Toro Sliders ($14) are to-die-for delish and the Martini Sud perfectly potent. Do throw on your darkest pair of Jackie Os and pretend you’re hiding from the Post. www.thompsonhotels.com
Brunch is the meal of the day for parents of babes with bedtimes. Crayons are aplenty and kids are king at Bubby’s Pie Shop (there’s even stroller parking). Farm-fresh eggs, house-cured bacon and homemade soda pop will fill you all up until bottle-time. Is 10 a.m. too early for a Bubby’s Bellini? Nah. 120 Hudson St., New York, www.bubbys.com
Rumour has it a New York baby’s first word is MoMA - your own budding Basquiat will adore the Children’s Museum of the Arts. With a hands-on craft space and drop-in classes for kids from 10 months, it’s a perfect spot on a rainy afternoon. $10, 103 Charlton St., New York, www.cmany.org
If your wee ones want to hang with the heppist TriBeCa kittens, they must look the part. Egg by Susan Lazar stocks minimalist cotton pieces like seersucker blazers and voile smocked rompers ($39). Aleph Portman-Millepied is a fan of the stripy hats so they’ll blend with the best. 124 Hudson St., New York, www.egg-baby.com
Buzzing with chic nannies and their chicer charges, Washington Market Park boasts a Saturday farmer’s market, padded play yard and giant red jungle gym. If you spot Moses and Apple on the twisty slide, act casual and wait your turn.
September 28th, 2012
Mini burgers, Mini Coopers, Miniature Schnauzers.
Everything is cuter when it’s wee and Mackage’s new line for kids is no exception. The Montreal designer’s pint-size collection (2-12) is also undeniably stylish: Shiny, down-filled parkas with fur trimmed hoods, leather-detailed peacoats, and high-collared wool jackets sporting the brand’s signature military-style buttons. Prices start at $395 so we’ll be sewing our kid’s name (and a tracking device) into the lining.
RESP, be damned. —Marianne Wisenthal
Mackage Mini available at www.mackage.ca
September 21st, 2012
Your little one doing lion’s breath?
Now that’s cute as a button. Newly opened YogaButtons,
Vancouver’s first yoga studio devoted to kids, offers classes for babies four months and up in a sleek (think Eames elephant stools), bright and cheerful space in Kits.
Can’t imagine your tiny tot meditating? That’s where stories, music and dance come in – to keep mini yogis entertained while they engage with their breath. And if the little one gets as hooked on yoga as you are, pick them up their very own mat from the selection of kids accessories sold in-studio.
Happy baby, indeed. —Kelsey Dundon
Classes $10 (kids) and $12 (adults); YogaButtons, 2525 W. Broadway, Vancouver, 604-739-9642, http://www.yogabuttons.com/
August 17th, 2012
One plastic bib, worn under the cloth bib (which got changed six times a day). A permanent under-the-chin rash. Stains on every parents’ shoulder. That’s the reality of a baby who drools a lot.
And that’s why we think the Wee Drool is brilliant. A bib that looks like a T-shirt and features a waterproof middle layer is one of the best ideas we’ve seen in a while. Moisture can’t get through, the armholes mean it can’t be ripped off and the design ensures it won’t flip up or turn into a cape. It’s made from a soft, eco-friendly fabric that has anti-microbial features. And best of all, it looks like a cool-t-shirt.
You’ll be washing less bibs, and you’ll be changing less outfits. Less laundry and less work. Now we're drooling. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Wee Drool bibs, $28 at www.wee-drool.com
August 11th, 2012
If girls get pretty little socks with ruffle trims and lurex sparkle, then what do boys get? Socks with zombies, swamp creatures, and pirates.
Trend-setting boys are dressing their feet in Instance socks, the California brand that counts pro skateboarders, surfers and musicians as its collaborators and designers. Its Ankle Biters Kids Collection features gory monsters and leg-eating sharks, which will probably be a big hit with the cool girls, too.
Just make sure to buy enough pairs so that there’s always a clean set available. Swamp creatures may look cool, but we don’t want to imagine what they might smell like.
Instance Kids’ Socks, $9.99 a pair or $17.99 for a set of three. At Underworld Skateboard Shop in Vancouver (1043 Granville St., Vancouver) and Montreal (51, rue Sainte-Catherine E, Montréal) and online at www.underworld-shop.com
July 27th, 2012
Adorable doesn’t even begin to describe Calgarian Jill Hoff’s handmade hair creations for mothers and daughters.
Inspired by nature, Paperdoll Acccessories' colour palette and designs reflect her family’s love of exploring the great outdoors. The collection features butterflies, leaves and woodland creatures flock headbands and clips for babies, toddlers, teens and their moms.
Favourite piece of the collection has to be the Woodland Green Leaf headband (US$20, pictured. Hippie chic, indeed. —Kait Kucy
From US$6 at Paperdoll Accessories, www.etsy.com/shop/PaperdollAccessories
July 20th, 2012
This editor was totally against sandboxes until her son’s daycare mentioned that he was content playing in it for an hour straight. What they didn’t mention, was that a water table would keep him entertained for 90 minutes. It was a done deal.
The water table is safer than a kiddie pool, less dirty than a sandbox (albeit wetter, but water dries fast in the heat) and can be set up in a yard or on a patio or balcony. Pick one up from Toys "R" Us (pictured, $25), or make your own. A large under-the-bed-storage plastic box works great balanced on two cement blocks. Stick a few bath toys in there, and let the fun begin.
Just be careful if you do have a sandbox, too. This inevitably turns the water table and sandbox into two mud pits. Great for the production of tasty mud pies, less great when it comes to cleaning up. —Alexandra Sunher Isenberg
$25 at www.toysrus.ca
July 13th, 2012
It’s suggest that you bite them, tear them, or clip them, but whatever way you choose, trimming a baby’s nails is never fun.
What if we told you that there was a magical machine that would make baby manicures stress-free? Zoli’s award-winning Buzz B nail trimmer is a buffing machine, which gently files down the nails using textured pads. There are two different settings, and four different pads (depending on baby’s age.) The pads are soft enough that they won’t damage skin, and the Buzz B works on infants and toddlers.
Yes, we know it sounds expensive, but the good news is, the Buzz B is only $36, which is less than the cost of a manicure. Now, if only they’d invent a magic machine to paint our nails for us. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Buzz B Nail Trimmer, $36 at www.safandbenjamin.com
July 6th, 2012
We asked the VitaminDaily.com moms to tell us about one baby or kid’s product that was an absolute necessity (and sanity saver). Herewith, our mommy must-haves!
Sarah Bancroft, Editor-in-Chief, Mother of Emmanuelle, 6 and Charlotte, 3.
Tara gave my daughter Charlotte a lime green Fatboy beanbag (starting at $198) for her first birthday and it has since become a favourite crash pad for kids of all ages. We use it in the yard, the playroom, watching movies. I've got my eye on the cool new printed versions I saw in the window of Vancouver Special. www.fatboycanada.com
Tara Parker Tait, Publisher, Mother of Alexander, almost 3.
Tegu wooden magnetic blocks small kits are the best for restaurants. I keep them in my bag and Alexander gets them when we go out to eat. Starting at $36 a set, available from Babybot, www.babybot.com
Katherine Holland, Toronto Contributor, Mother of Roxy, 2.
The aden + anais muslin wraps were my fave when Roxy was little. They're super stretchy, so you can burrito your baby into submission, and also prevents them scratching their faces when they're little. They wash well, they're soft, and they're lightweight, so the little ones won't overheat. They work great as sun protection over strollers or bouncy chairs in hot weather. All you could ask for in a receiving blanket. aden + anais Muslin Bamboo Single Layer Baby Swaddling Wrap set, $59.99 from Lusso Baby, www.lussobaby.ca
Maria Tallarico, Managing Editor, Mother of Jackson, almost 1.
A gift from the team (thanks ladies!), the canvas SYM Charlie Diaper Bag ($175) eschews infantile print for modern, unisex canvas. It comes with all the bells and whistles you'd expect (change pad, convertible straps, smart phone holder) and easily fits the essentials: wipes, diapers, extra clothing and my 13" Macbook Air. It works wonderfully as a travel bag and includes a cooler pocket and two insulated bottle pockets. $175 at Saf + Benjamin, www.safandbenjamin.com
Alexandra Suhner Isenberg, Fashion Editor, Mother of Viktor, 1.
The O-Ball is the best first toy for little ones, which came recommended to us by our physiotherapist. It is very lightweight and has lots of holes, which makes it very easy for baby to learn to grab and pick up. It is also soft, so when baby decides hit himself in the head with it (they love doing that), there’s no harm done. This is good around 4-8 months, a short time frame, but one of the only toys you’ll need around then. O-Ball, starting at $8.95 at Saf + Benjamin, www.safandbenjamin.com
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg