Category Archives: Baby Clothes
Every parent wants to keep their child safe at all times. Many parents with newborns can stress themselves out by constantly checking their baby’s crib to make sure they are still breathing. New tech gadgets are helping put new parents’ minds at ease by helping you keep your newborn safer than ever before.
Owlet Baby Monitor
This wearable “Smart Sock” slips onto your baby’s foot. It will not only track movement, but also measure information like heart rate, oxygen levels, and body temperature. All of the recorded information is transferred to your smart phone via Bluetooth so you can access your baby’s stats in real time form the comfort of your own bed.
Price – $199
This onesie that your baby wears to bed is in development right now. This wearable monitor measures activity level, sound, breathing, and much more. All of the information is sent to your smart phone and you can customize alerts so that you receive notifications about information you want to know.
Price – Unknown
BabySense Movement Monitor
This baby monitoring system only tracks your baby’s movements. It is a sensor-padded mat that your baby sleeps on top of. If there is a 20 second time period where there is no movement, the parents are alerted.
Price – $130
This product by Levana is a small mobile monitor that clips onto the baby’s diaper to track movement. If Oma+ detects a lack of movement for 15 seconds, it gently vibrates to rouse the baby. If three consecutive vibrations should occur, Oma+ will sound an alarm to alert you. The unit is safe for newborns because it uses a low-voltage battery and no radiation or frequency waves.
Price – $170
SafeToSleep Breathing Monitor
This last safety device is a wireless mobile system that your baby sleeps on top of, similar to the BabySense. The SafeToSleep, however, is embedded with sensors that monitor your baby’s breathing, sleep cycles, and sleep time. It will also generate sleep reports so you can see an overview of your baby’s general sleep patterns. All of this information can be accessed by your smart phone.
Price – $329
In the news this past week, Kate Middleton’s pregnancy was revealed. While her birth is future blog post fodder, Forbes predicts it could spike sales of maternity wear and baby products. Based on fashion trends stemming from the Duchess, Forbes isn’t off the mark.
As the magazine points out, the “Kate Middleton Effect” has pervaded high-end fashion since she married Prince William. Essentially, if Middleton is spotted wearing a particular look from a brand, buyers will seek it out, regardless of price. Her choices have further reinvigorated stalling brands. As Forbes points out, her couture doubled profits for Reiss ($6.7 million to $13.2 million from 2010 to ’11), and increased Alexander McQueen’s sales by 27 percent over the same time period.
On the other hand, and many baby blog and pop culture readers will likely agree with this, Middleton and Prince William’s spawn isn’t just another People magazine cover. While sales and interest of celebrity babies have declined in recent years, with the recent Kardashian birth being a particular nadir, Middleton and Prince William’s child has potential to be the future Queen of England, should they have a daughter, as the succession rules have since changed.
Nevertheless, boy or girl, their child will likely be given a significant amount attention by the international media. As we have seen before, stars’ children, such as the Jolie-Pitt brood and Suri Cruise, influence brands and products carried at higher-end retailers. Along with baby blogs and celebrity bump spottings, baby product retailers, as Forbes emphasized, curate their own selection of celebrity-influenced products and brands. If a pop culture blog geared toward babies spots it, the retailer is likely to offer it.
How much of an influence do you think Middleton and Prince William’s child will have on baby retailers? Should we, next year, expect to see certain high-end brands flying off shelves?
A onesie in a Mississippi department store brings new meaning to phrase “bikini body” – and, for some, in an extremely inappropriate manner. This week, the Huffington Post details, consumers at a Mississippi department store, off-price chain Gordman’s, noticed a onesie printed with an image of a curvy woman in a bikini.
The onesie, made by Wild Child brand Bon Bebe, is designed for 18-month old girls. As far as we know, the brand has no equivalent design for boys. The customers interviewed in the HuffPo piece describe the onesie as “vulgar” and “inappropriate,” while others take the stance of, “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.”
What’s your perspective on this matter?
The fact is, this “baby bikini” is just one of a line of inappropriate children’s wear. In recent years, Abercrombie & Fitch was found to be selling padded bikini tops for girls 7 or 8 years old. The Huffington Post points out, as well, that, also last year, a French brand introduced a line of baby lingerie called “loungerie.” Last year, too, onesies were found printed with Kate Moss quote “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”
Be it displaying a bikini or a slogan from a model with past drug issues, a onesie may just be a piece of clothing for a baby – he or she is not aware of the connotations. Parents dressing their kids up in such attire may even find it cute. But, that’s not to say parents can’t have fun or be ironic with baby clothes, especially as a child’s wardrobe for the first year or so is mostly solid-color onesies and t-shirts.
On the other hand, such items can be early induction into Toddlers & Tiaras-like objectification. The “cute” baby bikini comes first, and by age four, the child, likely pushed by a parent, is overly made up and doing beauty pageants with flippers (the fake teeth that create an illusion of perfect pearly whites) and hair extensions. While such a scenario is a stretch, the implication of some baby clothes must be taken into consideration.
Do you have a soft spot for Disney characters and want baby products with a similar theme? While such toys, sheets, and strollers aren’t relatively difficult to find, all frequently come in an array of pastel shades. The “with it” parent, these days, stays away from such hues and, instead, has taken a bolder approach. The new Disney Baby Minnie Mouse collection has such character.
Announced last week, the Disney Baby Minnie Mouse collection, with the exception of darker plum hues, isn’t particularly new. In fact, several other brands of strollers have already gotten in on the trend. But, if you’ve envisioned a Disney-themed room for your baby, go beyond Minnie Mouse Trumpette socks with your baby’s toys, furniture, and clothing.
That being said, Graco’s new collection has five types of baby products, most of them dual purpose. Although the press release goes into greater detail, these include:
• Nursery furniture, such as a rocking seat that turns into a bassinet and can be carried from room to room. For stimulation purposes, each has a toy bar and a mobile that plays classical music and soothing nature sounds.
• Dinner furniture, which is self-explanatory.
• On-the-Go items, such as a stroller and car seat. With modern features in mind, the strollers are lightweight, effortlessly turn around corners, and are easy to fold up or out. Graco car seats, which integrate in with many other stroller models, can also be used with the Minnie Mouse collection.
• Playtime Toys, which, much like the rocking seat, are made to soothe a baby. This device offers multiple seating positions and a choice of speeds.
If a Disney theme and bold colors are the theme for your baby’s room, clothing, and toys, find even more possibilities with classic characters through Dada Baby Boutique.
- How to Buy a Stroller (answers.com)
- Every Baby Pushchair Doesn’t Offer an Acceptable Level of Safety, Convenience, and Reliance (boldstate.com)
- How do You Roll? Choosing the right Stroller for You and Baby (kleinekinder.wordpress.com)
In concept, designer baby clothing is a paradox: Why pay exorbitant amounts of money on garments that will only get a few wears before the child is too big? Yet, a market for high-end designer clothing for children, including babies, is emerging. Instead of Gap Kids, think Gucci Kids.
Oscar de la Renta is one such designer to foray into babies’ and children’s clothing. Announced in December, Oscar de la Renta took on Catherine Monteito de Barros, of Portuguese children’s line Papo d’Anjo, as vice president of the brand’s children’s wear. Encompassing children for boys and girls 18 months to 14 years, the line is expected to debut in fall 2012. While Oscar de la Renta has designed limited edition children’s wear before, this line is for parents who “want their children to look like children.”
Other designers have paved the way into high-end children’s fashion. Although celebrity kids that garner significant attention in the tabloids (think Suri Cruise or the Bradjelina brood) have made the market for higher-end children’s clothing visible, brands normally considered “adult” are trying to attract the youngest demographic (or, at least, their parents with money). Profiled in the New York Times in October, Gucci, Burberry, Fendi, and Stella McCartney have all designed children’s lines. Some attempt to replicate the look of adult clothing, while others, like Oscar de la Renta and Fendi, have a different outlook for children – one less grownup.
In regards to her children’s clothing line, Silvia Fendi told the press: “There is a fashion element to the collection. But it is important that it be clothing that works for children and that it be made well from good materials.”
Although accompanied by a significantly higher price tag, these baby’s and children’s clothes are better made, designed to be stronger or, in the case of Stella McCartney, made out of eco-friendly materials.
The holiday season is approaching, and no matter if you celebrate Christmas or Chanukah, you might find yourself looking for baby gifts – for your own child or a friend’s. If you are unsure about what to get, consider these pointers below.
• A child can never have too many toys. Yet, the usefulness of the toy counts. While friends, particularly, may be tempted to purchase just any toy, infants and toddlers have specific needs in play, which assists with building sensory, gross and fine motor, critical-thinking, and creative skills. In this case, look out for baby toys in black, red, and white, which visually stimulate a child, or those that have various textures, patterns, or sounds. Toddlers, on the other hand, need to work on gross motor skills, and for such a child, you should be on the lookout for blocks, riding toys, or dolls, all of which should be soft.
• Parents always need baby clothes, especially as young children quickly go through garments. No matter if you are shopping for your own child or someone else’s, stay practical with this gift. However, know the child’s age or size before purchasing any onesies, pants, footies, or t-shirts beforehand.
• Generally, veer away from larger presents, such as furniture, strollers, and car seats. Parents with babies or young children likely have these items already. However, if you know a parent in need of any of these items, consider purchasing one as a useful present.
• Go a practical route but dress up your gift. While basic, holiday diaper cakes are perfect for parents with babies and toddlers. Designed with a holiday theme, such diaper cakes contain 80 to 150 diapers, as well as various baby products on the outside. Overall, such a present helps new parents cut down on their diaper budget.
• Consider the parent. Do you know a mother looking for a larger or more stylish diaper bag? Find one that looks similar to a high-end handbag but has all the components a parent needs for taking a child out.
What’s better than accepting hand-me-down baby clothes? Renting them. New parents find out, if they don’t know already, that babies go through clothing quickly. T-shirts and onesies that fit just a few weeks ago become too big in the near future. While a baby shower or receiving hand-me-downs can be helpful for getting infant-size clothing, the parents often end up purchasing new onesies, pants, and shirts every few weeks.
Plumgear, a new site for renting baby clothes, wants to change that. Reported by Consumer Reports, Plumgear was set up by Caroline O’Connor, a new mother who found that hand-me-downs and baby shower gifts provided limited options for new parents. Much like Netflix, Plumgear is a subscription service for parents to rent outfits for their baby. Once the child outgrows the clothing in a few weeks, they send it back to Plumgear for the next size up.
The website offers sizes 0-3 months through 2T, and clothing is purchased wholesale from quality brands like Rabbit Moon, Petit Bateau, Angel Dear, Soy Baby, Le Top, and Mini Muffin. Parents, when using the service, can order clothing in packs of five, 10, or 15, and a typical order includes tops, pants, and onesies; for a girl, a dress, leggings, and tights may also be added.
The cost of subscription covers the return of clothing, and all garments are laundered with fragrance-free Seven Generation detergent. If clothing ends up getting stained or damaged, the parents are not charged, and the garment is donated.
If you’re a parent tired of purchasing new baby clothing every few weeks, would renting the basics appeal to you? Clothing won’t sit around your home used and outgrown after several weeks, you only need to pay the subscription fee, and all garments are wearable, unlike questionable hand-me-downs. If you’re looking to save money with a new baby, would you opt to rent baby clothing, or purchase it secondhand and accept hand-me-downs?
While a onesie printed with Kate Moss’s quote “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” is inappropriate for a child, do Angry Birds baby products fall into the same realm? Not exactly. In an effort to expand its brand, the developers behind game Angry Birds are introducing a line of blankets and clothing after the success of their toys.
One of the top apps for Apple mobile products, Angry Birds is played by 40 million users monthly. In the game developer’s foray into toys, 7 million items have been sold so far. As the licensing and merchandising division is the fastest growing section of the company, rolling out Angry Birds baby products seemed to be the next step for expansion.
SwaddleDesigns, the first company to introduce the large swaddling baby blanket, is making the baby products, which are now available for preorder. But, does such a violent and Alfred Hitchcock-esque concept behind the game translate to baby products? According to creative director Lynette Damir in a press release from SwaddleDesigns, it does:
“As parents, one aspect of Angry Birds we appreciate is how protective the birds are and how much they love their offspring. It’s one of the characters’ endearing qualities that resonates with parents everywhere, and a key reason we believe Angry Birds fans will be enthusiastic about our new line of Angry Bird baby products. We’re excited and honored to be Rovio’s partner to bring these fun, playful and loveable characters to SwaddleDesigns product line.”
Current retailers of Angry Birds toys will carry the baby products, and the brand is expanding to newer vendors.
While novelty baby products and less-typical baby clothes are nothing new, would you purchase an Angry Birds blanket or onesie for your baby? Or, are such items designed solely for fans of the game?
The hazards of exposing babies to fire retardant chemicals are not new news. Manufacturers of green baby products have been touting this for years, and even in the ‘70s, a toxic fire retardant chemical found to cause cancer in animals was removed from baby pajamas. Nevertheless, even though the dangers of having such chemicals near your baby, in toys, in mattresses, and even in household dust, many baby products still contain fire retardant chemicals.
According to a recent article published in USA Today, toddlers and preschoolers have levels of fire retardant chemicals three times higher than those in adults. While adults are not immune to the effects of such chemicals, babies and young children are particularly affected by exposure: Brain development or behavior may be altered, or a child many have a lower IQ or learning problems, among other issues.
At the same time, most items are made with fire retardant chemicals, primarily as the result of California’s strict standards. An article published in the Los Angeles Times in 2009 questions the effectiveness and necessity of these chemicals. Added to save lives and reduce exposure to fire, constant exposure to these chemicals is dangerous, and during a fire, the chemicals are released into the air.
Although California is loosening its standards for baby products, most items for children still include fire retardant chemicals: 56 percent of infant carriers, 44 percent of car seats, and 40 percent of portable cribs. Parents, as a result, also have a difficult time finding baby products free of fire retardant chemicals, but knowing which brands to look for makes a search easier.
As infants sleep 70 percent of their first year, finding a mattress free of fire retardant chemicals and phthalates is a significant concern for parents. Naturepedic is one of the prominent brands of such chemical-free products. Using no vinyl, PVC, or polyurethane foam, Naturepedic baby mattresses are tested for chemical emissions and are Greenguard certified. Each mattress has a waterproof surface made out of 100-percent food grade polypropylene, organic cotton filing, and a non-toxic and naturally-derived fire barrier system.
Recently, Mother Nature Network (MNN.com) published a letter from a woman about putting together a green baby shower. Many of Morieka Johnson’s suggestions mirror those we have suggested for being economical with baby products and extend to all aspects of a shower:
• Send out digital invitations instead of paper
• Avoid games
• Be practical with decorations
• Hold a potluck and have all guests bring a meal to chip in
• Have all invited parents bring used, lightly-worn baby products, such as clothing and sheets, but be careful with larger items, such as strollers, car seats, and cribs.
While these suggestions make a baby shower green and economical, Johnson didn’t touch on one growing field of baby products: green, or eco-friendly, items. Going green is no longer a luxury, and this is reflected in the availability and styles of baby products, from diaper cakes to toys and clothing. Although Johnson makes some good points for putting together a baby shower, consider our suggestions:
• Going green does not mean that decorations or presents need to be understated. If you are planning the party and want to provide a great baby gift, consider eco-friendly diaper cakes, such as these from Rattlecake. Eco-friendly diaper cakes come in gender-neutral styles and animal themes, are made out of Seventh Generation diapers, include Burt’s Bees baby products, and come with Dandelion baby toys, all of which are made out of organic cotton and corn fiber filling.
• Bring an eco-friendly and practical baby gift. Green baby clothing, toys, and sheets no longer have the same uniform off-white color they did when going green reached public consciousness 20 years ago. Now, green baby products come in several colors – many of which are bright and bold – and are affordably priced. Many baby boutiques carry green baby clothing, toys, sheets, and diaper bags, and Dada Baby Boutique has a particularly large selection of green baby products.