20 versatile travel toys to keep toddlers entertained on long road trips

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Travel toys for toddlers: 20 versatile toys for kids

  • Travel toys for toddlers aren’t just good to have, they’re an absolute necessity.
  • To keep a toddler busy while traveling, you need engaging toys that aren’t too challenging.
  • Travel toys should also be easy to carry and difficult to lose – the fewer pieces, the better.

Travel provides a lush breeding ground for boredom, which is why every caregiver needs a reliable selection of mobile distractions when traveling with a toddler. As a parent of two young children and a specialist in early childhood development, I have been fine-tuning my stash of travel toys over many years.

A good travel toy is quiet enough that it won’t bother other people, and simple enough that you won’t lose or need to pick up a ton of pieces. It should also be something a child can safely handle on their own. Finally, you want them to work for you for as long as possible.

Here are 20 travel toys for toddlers, with age-appropriate pro tips.

Reusable stickers that are great for window seats

Melissa & Doug Play House! Reusable Sticker Pad and Reusable Sticker Pad My Town Bundle

Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad, available at Amazon, $5.99

These reusable stickers are perfect for travel because they can go on and off any surface, and the pad is small enough to fit on your toddler’s lap. They’re especially good if your child is seated by a window and the scene outside provides a dynamic backdrop.

A toddler twist on an old classic

plastic links for toddlers

Bright Starts Lots of Links, available at Amazon, $4.99

As young kids, when my sister and I had to sit through temple during long High Holy Day services, my aunt always gave us and our cousins a handful of paper clips. It was so simple, but so effective. These plastic rings are basically the young toddler version. Plus, they can double as teethers, and you can incorporate different sets. 

A magazine just for them

magazine for traveling with a toddler

Highlights Hello Magazine, 1-year subscription, available at Amazon, $39.99

These practically indestructible booklets contain miniature stories, poems, and/or songs, plus a find-it game in every issue. The content is geared toward 0- to 2-year-olds, but they’re also great for when your big kid wants to practice reading or storytelling. You could also try Highlights High Five Magazine for 2- to 6-year-olds, which has excellent content but is considerably less indestructible.

Travel-themed magnets that are easy to carry

travel toys

Magnetic Fun Cars, Planes, and Trains, available at Deseret Book, $9.99 

This breaks my small pieces rule, but it gets a pass because the magnets are contained in a compact tin. Most importantly, the magnets offer many variations on a theme, and because it mirrors the toddler’s travel experience, it’s easier for them to stay engaged longer.

A stuffy that comes with distractions

buckle blu whale

Buckle Toys Blu Whale, available at Amazon, $19.99

The Buckle Blu Whale is bright, soft, lightweight, and engaging. It keeps hands busy and provides lots of number and color learning opportunities. 

A soft busy board with carry strap

montessori busy board for toddlers

Kenley The Original Toddler Busy Board, available at Amazon, $28.99

Traveling with more than one toddler? Try this wool sensory activity board. It is similarly engaging to the Buckle whale but includes more variety in the fine-motor activities and has space for at least four tiny hands. It comes with a carry strap but could also fit into a small backpack or carry-on

A busy bag they can customize

stephen joseph llama purse

Stephen Joseph Crossbody Purse, available at Amazon, $14

Encourage your toddler to make their own busy bag to bring on the go. These purses are adorable and durable. The zipper is easy for little hands to maneuver, and little kids love carrying around small domestic items (think: pretend keys). This one also breaks the few-pieces rule, but it’s perfect for car rides with a toddler since everything will remain in your car.

A travel-themed coloring roll

coloring roll mini

Mudpuppy By Air, By Land, By Sea Mini Coloring Roll, available at Barnes & Noble and Target, $6.99

These roll-up coloring sheets from Mudpuppy are each a whopping 10-feet long but still convenient for travel. Older toddlers, especially, will appreciate all the different items to color. Unroll a small bit at a time while you’re on the go and unravel to display it all at your final destination.

A mess-free paint pad and pen

water coloring book

Melissa & Doug Water Wow!, available at Amazon, $5.93

Fill the pen-brush with water and watch as your toddler intently “paints” the pages over and over again with almost no muss, and certainly no fuss. These work everywhere and are available in multiple designs as well as single or multi-packs.

A very fun activity for older toddlers

lacing cards for toddlers

The World of Eric Carle “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” Lacing Cards, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, from $14.08

From Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” come these 10 lacing cards, perfect for older toddlers. Not only are they a beautiful way to travel with illustrations from the classic story, but they are perfect for keeping hands busy while fine-tuning those fine motor skills

Books that distract without disturbing

crinkle books for toddler travel

Coolplay Baby’s First Non-Toxic Soft Cloth Crinkle Book, set of 8, available at Amazon, $13.99

We got these four years ago when my daughter was an infant, and she still enjoys them and can share the excitement with her baby brother. The books make a crinkling sound, and the set features themes such as color, number, and animal. They are small, light, and fall easily to the bottom of our backpack, making them the perfect clutch surprise when we’ve run through the rest of our options.

Durable headphones for toddlers

kids headphones

LilGadgets Connect+ Wired Headphones, available at Amazon and Walmart, $16.95

Plugging your kid in for the trip? LilGadgets Headphones are light and flexible but can handle a little rough play. The cord is encased in nylon, and the audio volume maxes out at 93 db, which is safe for limited use. Perhaps the most attractive quality of these headphones is that they have a port on each side, so you can link more than one pair together to watch and listen on a shared device.

Sensory sticks to settle tiny hands

sensory toys

Bunmo Stretchy Things, 6-pack, available at Amazon, $9.49

These discreet sensory sticks are designed for restless hands. My kids love using one or more of them at a time, and I also appreciate the stress relief they can provide. Even better, they are designed with neuroatypical people in mind, so if your child has autism, ADD, or ADHD and benefits from sensory stimulation, give these a try. 

Familiar travel buddies

sesame street figures

“Sesame Street” Playskool Collector Figures, 5-pack, available at Amazon, from $9.84

It feels almost foolish to try to pitch the benefits of keeping a “Sesame Street” character or two in your travel bag, so my only advice is this: occasionally rotate the characters.

Letters and words, delightfully bound

flash cards for toddlers

Mudpuppy Alphabet My ABCs Ring Flash Cards, available at Amazon, $12.99 

R is for ring! I like playing cards as a toy in general, and these have the added benefit of being attached to a ring for easy use while traveling. These flash cards are brightly designed, and toddlers of all ages can engage with the illustrated animals, letters, and words.

Easy-to-hold sketch pads

up up mini notebooks

Up & Up Spiral Memo Pads, 3-pack, available at Target, $2.19

I cannot recommend mini notebooks enough if your child can be even marginally entrusted with crayons or pens. They can be used for scribbling, tracing, learning, taking pretend food orders, and so on. Suggest prompts that align with your current travel and watch their imaginations take off. Pro tip: Carry one in each bag you’re traveling with. They’ll all get used.

A long-lasting memory game

memory game for traveling with a toddler

Melissa & Doug Flip-to-Win Memory Game, available at Amazon and Target, $9.99

Great for older toddlers, this memory game comes with 14 themes for repeated rounds of play. The cards slide into the back, and most importantly, the memory pieces aren’t detachable.

Slow and steady wins the ride

magnatab travel toy

Kid O Free Play Magnatab, available at Amazon, $20.61

The Magnatab’s strength as a travel toy is how slow it is. Creating on it requires deliberate action and occasionally correcting errors. It also works surprisingly well as a group toy because each child’s level of concentration is practically contagious — I once watched four pre-kindergarteners patiently take turns.

A 2-in-1 learning toy

mickey mouse board book for car rides

Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Learning Board Book, available at Amazo, $8.99

Older and younger toddlers alike will appreciate this two-in-one toy. At top, there is an erasable drawing pad with a conveniently attached pen. On the bottom is a board book with simple corresponding games.

A classic set for pretend play

battat play phone keys

Battat Cell Phone and Key Toy Set, available at Amazon, $14.94

Pretend phones are an old standby in my house, and this combo set has the added bonus of pretend keys so you don’t accidentally lose yours. They are chunky but light — great for tiny hands — and make just enough sounds to keep toddlers interested without bugging your seat neighbor with aggressive songs. Throw them in your purse, or theirs!

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My daughter loves playing with these toy kits that encourage brain development in babies and toddlers

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Lovevery play kits review: best subscription for childrens' toys
Starting at $36 a month, Lovevery’s curated play kits for babies and toddlers help foster child development in fun ways.

  • Lovevery offers curated play kits with age-appropriate toys sorted into 2-to-3-month age groups.
  • The toy are designed by early childhood development experts to entertain and support a child’s learning.
  • You can subscribe to a plan or buy kits separately; subscriptions start at $36 a month and solo kits start at $80.

Finding the best toys for babies and toddlers can be a serious challenge. My wife and I wanted to make sure our daughter had great toys that would make playtime both fun and meaningful in terms of cognitive and motor development. In the past year, we found that trusting toy curation to the team of experts Lovevery works out quite well.

The experts at Lovevery come from the fields of psychology, development, occupational therapy, and education. When these folks set out to create a company that produces toy and activity kits that would help foster brain development, they went all in. But calling Lovevery a toy company would be like calling a forest a place with trees. Yes, there are trees, but there’s so much more going on among them.

What are Lovevery play kits?

Scarlett with Lovevery play kits
That’s my daughter Scarlett playing with the Slide and Sleek Ball Run toy from the Babbler Play Kit.

Lovevery play kits are broken out into six kits (or subscriptions, if you choose a plan) intended to be swapped out every two months for babies, and into four kits intended to be swapped every three months for the brand-new toddler kits. Each kit contains carefully selected items that will engage, entertain, and enlighten children.

Each kit contains items that are developmentally appropriate for kids of the respective age. But kids don’t simply move on from the earlier toys when they outgrow the kit’s intended age group. Instead, the way a child engages with the toys evolves as their abilities and interests expand.

There’s the Looker Play Kit intended for newborns and babies through the first eight weeks of life. It contains things like a soft silicone rattle, cards with simple high-contrast images, and mittens with geometric patterns. Most of the objects in the Looker kit use only bold black and white colors because that’s what a newborn’s eyes can see. The toys are also designed for use by a little human who’s not yet using their hands with any sense of control or is just rolling over and still acting largely by instinct.

As for the instincts that make them put toys into their mouths – each item included in these kits is made with nontoxic water-based paints or dyes, organic fabric, sustainably sourced wood, and other safe, eco-friendly materials.

For older children who are between 11 and 12 months, the Thinker Play Kit contains a colorful doll, weighted balls, books with full-color images, and multiple toys that require manipulation and basic dexterity.

What they’re like to use

My daughter Scarlett still loves many of the toys she has played with for a year, and now she carries them around while walking and talking instead of kicking at them as she lies on her back on a play mat. The lasting power of these toys makes the $40 monthly expense seem quite affordable.

As kids enter their first full year, their development continues rapidly, but each child will hit milestones at different times, so the toddler kits are spread over three months instead of six, with four kits making up the whole year.

Scarlett with a Lovevery play
Here’s Scarlett playing with the Circle of Friends Puzzle from the same Babbler Play Kit.

The toddler kits are larger and include more items in each box, allowing caregivers to consider which toys to introduce over each three-month period to meet the abilities of a growing child and coax out their best efforts at problem-solving and critical thinking. This might be hard to believe, but don’t worry, the kids will have fun in the process – they’ll just form some new neural pathways while doing it.

What makes Lovevery stand out

While the kits are great, the play guide that comes with each kit is what truly sets Lovevery apart. The guides, which include full-color images, are broken down into easily digested sections that explain when and how each toy or item should be introduced. They also advise on how an adult can help a child engage with the item.

Going beyond the toys themselves, these guides also explain what’s going on with your child (“Learning to control his arms and legs” or “Recognizes people who take care of him,” for example), what each toy is designed to help with (like sensory exploration or making connections), and even what you as a parent are likely experiencing at each stage. The guides even offer ideas for other activities beyond using the toys themselves.

The bottom line

Now, I’m not a doctor so I definitely suggest talking to yours before incorporating these toys into playtime. In my experience though, Lovevery makes wonderful toys and well-curated kits that my daughter loves playing with. But to my wife and me, they’re more than that. They’re developmental tools that greatly benefit the child and caregiver who’s also engaged in a learning process.

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31 thoughtful and useful gifts for new dads

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gifts for new dad
  • New dads need a little help to get through that wonderful but sleep-deprived first year with a baby.
  • Thoughtful, useful gifts from friends and family can really give new dads a boost.
  • These 31 gifts will help a new dad take care of the baby, help around the house, and relax like a pro when time allows.
  • Check out all of our gift guides to shop for everyone on your list.

Having a new baby is an exciting time, but new dads definitely need some help adjusting. That’s where friends and family can help out with practical and unique gifts that a new dad will appreciate and put to good use.

These 31 gift suggestions will be a hit with any new dad. This list includes a range of items that will make playtime with baby more fun, help dad sleep a little better, be handy around the house, and hold onto the special moments that only happen during this magic time in a child and parent’s relationship.

Here are 31 memorable and useful gifts for new dads:

Stroller phone mount

skip hop universal phone mount

Gift the Skip Hop Stroll and Connect Universal Phone Holder, for $14.99

Made with tough plastic and rubber grips, the Stroll and Connect mounts easily to a stroller or shopping cart and won’t fall off in crowded aisles or on bumpy terrain. It lets a parent keep their hands-free in case they need to use the phone on the go.

One tool for almost every job

leatherman wingman tool

Gift the Leatherman Wingman Multi-Tool, for $59.95

There’s something about being a dad that really brings out their inner handyman. The Leatherman Wingman is loaded with 14 tools, including a knife, screwdrivers, bottle openers, and even a 1-inch ruler, so they can fix just about anything and pop open a cold one when they’re done.

A cold brew maker

Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, One Quart, Black

Gift the Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, $24.99

Dad will love a cup of cold brew coffee, with less acidity and a smoother taste, when he needs a pick-me-up after sneaking in an afternoon nap. The Takeya Deluxe makes up to 1 quart of concentrate. Plus, it’s easy to use and an incredible value. 

Comfortable underwear

saxx quest underwear

Saxx Quest boxer briefs, from $32

The right underwear makes everything go so much smoother. The lightweight material is soft and breathable, and the patented BallPark Pouch keeps everything in place, whether he’s getting up for an early morning feeding or pushing a stroller around the park on a hot summer day.

Single-origin coffee beans

COLECTIVO Sumatra Highlands Hero

Gift the Colectivo Coffee—Sumatra, from $14.25

If he’s a coffee fanatic, he’ll love a bag of single-origin beans. Grown in the volcanic soil in the rugged mountains of the Indonesian island Sumatra, this rich, complex blend has notes of molasses and pineapple. And for those mornings where there’s no time to hassle with a French press, don’t overlook instant coffees, which have caught up in quality to the whole bean version.

A smart baby monitor

miku smart baby monitor

Gift the Miku Smart Baby Monitor, available at Miku, $399

The Miku does it all — it tracks baby’s sleep and breathing, sends awake and sleep alerts directly to a smartphone, offers video and audio monitoring, and plays white noise, lullabies, and more. He’ll appreciate its easy setup and the fact that there’s no wearable required. Even more, the app offers a range of analytics to troubleshoot sleep problems. The Miku is HSA/FSA approved, so you can purchase it with your HSA/FSA card at mikucare.com or submit your receipt to your plan administrator for reimbursement.

*Sponsored by Miku

A diaper backpack

Bag Nation Diaper Bag Backpack

Gift the Bag Nation Backpack Diaper Bag, $59.95

Made with the same look of a commuter bag, this 14-pocket backpack is durable and carries all the essentials, from diapers to bottles and everything in between. There’s even a foldout changing pad.

A new set of sheets for him and baby

new dad fathers day gifts 3

Gift the Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set, from $110

Gift the Brooklinen Crib Sheet Set, from $52

Sleep, when it does happen for both dad and baby, is so much better on a set of soft sheets that make them feel like they’re sleeping on a cloud. These are great for delicate skin and hot sleepers, too, and they come in a variety of colors and prints.

A comfortable pillow

Coop Home Goods body pillow

Gift the Coop Home Goods Original Pillow, $59.99

A comfy pillow might be the most important ingredient for a restful night. The adjustable fill on the Coop pillow means it works for every kind of sleeper, and a 100-night trial means he’s not stuck with it, if he doesn’t like it.

A quick hang

metolius project board

Gift the Metolius Project Board, from $64.95

With a variety of holds, from jugs to crimps to pockets, the Metolius Project Board is great for releasing tension with a quick upper body workout. It can go just about anywhere inside or outside, and the fine texture is easy on the skin.

A funny book about fatherhood

Man vs. Baby  The Chaos and Comedy of Real Life Parenting

Gift “Man vs. Baby: The Chaos and Comedy of Real-Life Parenting,” $17

Nothing will fully prepare him for the chaos and confusion of being a new dad. However, Matt Coyne’s sleep-deprived take on parenting will give him a hilarious and honest reassurance that he’s doing alright, no matter how stressful it seems.

A shaving kit

Harry's

Gift the Harry’s Truman Shave Set, $15

This essential shave set includes a razor with a comfortable handle and textured rubber grip, three German-engineered blade cartridges, foaming shave gel for a rich lather, and a travel cover to protect the blades.

An Instant Pot

Instant Pot Duo 6qt 7 in 1 Pressure Cooker, $99.99

Gift the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 (6-Ot.), $79

The Instant Pot makes cooking dinner for the whole family a breeze. It makes soups, meats, yogurt, and pretty much everything else, even baby food. Easy cleanup means more time to spend with the little one too.

A meat or seafood box

crowd cow 4

Gift Crowd Cow, from $39

Give him something delicious to cook with a gift box of meat or seafood that’s sourced from independent producers that practice sustainable farming and ethical treatment of animals.

Super soft lounge pants

tommy john loungers

Gift the Tommy John Second Skin Lounge Pants, $68

He will love a pair of comfortable pants for sleeping or lounging around the house that won’t embarrass him when the in-laws show up announced. These soft, light micromodal pants from Tommy John are perfect, and they hold up nicely wash after wash.

A pair of chinos

bonobos

Gift Bonobos chinos, from $98

Unfortunately, a new dad can’t wear lounge pants all the time. But just because he’s leaving the house for a bit, doesn’t mean he’s got to sacrifice comfort. Bonobos chinos come in multiple fits and sizes, and the signature curved waistband give them an unobtrusive fit that makes them great for the office, a trip to the store, or a playdate in the park. 

A lightweight button-up for a put-together look

tie bar short sleeve shirt

Gift the Tie Bar Short-Sleeve Shirt, from $45

It’s nice for dad to feel put-together sometimes. The light, 100% cotton button-ups from Tie Bar are perfect for a rare night out or day at the office.

A shaving set

dollar shave club

Give a Dollar Shave Club Complete Shave Gift Set, $35

This set comes with a razor handle and four four-blade cartridges that make for a great shave for when dad needs to clean up a little. It also includes a gentle prep scrub, shave butter, and hydrating post-shave cream.

A durable water bottle

Hydro_flask_lifestyle

Gift the Hydro Flask Wide Mount Water Bottle, from $37.95

When life gets as hectic as it does for new fathers, it’s easy to forget to drink water. This durable insulated metal bottle keeps water cold and within arm’s reach.

A hammock

Wildhorn_hammock_Cropped

Gift the Newdora Garden Hammock, from $16.99

Stealing away for a midafternoon nap in a hammock is an incredible way for a new dad to take a break from diaper changes. The Newdora Garden Hammock is easy to set up, adjustable, and packs down small enough to take anywhere.

A play kit of curated toys

new dad fathers day gifts 7

Gift a Lovevery Play Kit Subscription, from $36/month

Make those long hours playing on the floor count with a subscription to Lovevery curated age-appropriate toy kits. Delivered every two months, each one includes guides that show how each toy helps with a child’s development. They’re also a lot of fun.

A basketball jersey for baby

nba jersey

Gift an NBA Baby Jersey, from $11.99

It’s going to be a while before baby gets into it, but it’s still a lot of fun for a new dad to watch the game with his progeny decked out in their very own jersey.

An adjustable baby carrier

Omni_Baby_carrier

Gift the Ergobaby Omni 360 All-in-One carrier, $179

Whether you’re running errands or spending a day in the park, a good baby carrier makes it so much easier. Made with 100% premium cotton, the Ergobaby Omni 360 is super soft and easily adjustable to fit waists and shoulders of all sizes. It works in multiple positions, too, front or back, face-in or face-out. 

A foam roller

TriggerPoint_foam_roller

Gift the TriggerPoint GRID foam roller, $34.95

Knots and tight muscles go hand in hand with parenting. He’ll appreciate the textured surface pattern of this foam roller to roll away the aches and pains of being a new parent.

An interactive photo journal

artifact uprising baby book

Gift the Artifact Uprising Baby Book | The Story of You, from $99

A phone full of pictures and videos is great, but he’ll want something to capture and hold onto the most special moments. This photo book, featuring a fabric cover and foil stamped title, lets him write down his memories and the details of each milestone.

A tool kit

CARTMAN Orange 39 Piece Tool Set

Gift the Cartman General Household 39-piece toolkit, $20.99

There’s just something about being a dad that turns everyone into an overnight handy man. This tool kit includes all the basics he’ll need for assembling or repairing all that new gear in the nursery and beyond.

A soft cooler

Clevermade_cooler

Gift the CleverMade SnapBasket Soft-Sided Cooler tote, $39.95

Dad is going to need a good cooler for bringing food home from the store or packing up milk and baby food for a road trip to see the grandparents. This one has a 50-can capacity, but it still folds up small enough to stash under the seat when he doesn’t need it.

A delicious baby blanket

tortilla

Gift the Tortilla Baby Blanket, $48

This blanket is made of breathable cotton/polyester blend fabric that will keep baby comfortable and cool. And the flour tortilla print that makes them look like a bundle of burrito joy is impossibly adorable.

A custom print of baby’s footprints

baby footprints personalized art

Gift the Baby Footprint Art Print, from $18

It’s always hard to believe how little they used to be. This is an attractive, thoughtful piece that fits nicely anywhere in the home.

A smart speaker for baby’s room

echo dot

Gift the Amazon Echo Dot, $49.99

A smart speaker is a nice addition to baby’s room. It can play lullabies or classical music at bedtime, or dad can use it to listen to the game while they’re playing with toys. 

An REI membership

REI Membership

Gift an REI membership, $20

Getting active and outdoors is great for kids, and something a new dad can do right from the start. With an REI membership, he’ll get annual dividends, exclusive offers, and more to get the gear he and his family will want. 

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KiwiCo subscription boxes for kids are loaded with fun, educational activities – the box for toddlers was perfect for my 18-month-old

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Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The KiwiCo Panda Crate subscription box is a win-win for babies & parents
The “Solve With Me” box came with four different activities, all designed to help toddlers learn shapes.

  • KiwiCo subscription boxes contain fun and educational activities designed by child development experts.
  • I tested the Panda Crate for babies and toddlers, but KiwiCo offers subscriptions for kids of all ages.
  • My toddler didn’t just engage with these toys – she wanted to go back to play with them again and again.
  • Depending on your subscription, prices range from $20 to $30 per crate.

I often feel overwhelmed by making sure I’m teaching my daughter everything she needs to know and appropriately stimulating her to help her development. She doesn’t go to daycare and she’s not old enough for preschool, so it all falls on me.

According to the US Department of Education, up until age 5, it’s important to talk, read, and sing with your child every day. The American Academy of Pediatrics also advocates for regular play to support the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and so parents can fully engage with their children.

This is where play subscription boxes like Lovevery and KiwiCo come in handy. KiwiCo sent me its Panda Crate subscription box for babies and toddlers (ages newborn to 24 months) to try out with my daughter, so we could see for ourselves.

What is the KiwiCo Panda Crate?

KiwiCo offers different versions of the Panda Crate for five age bands: 0 to 2 months, 3 to 6 months, 7 to 12 months, 13 to 18 months, and 19 to 24 months. Each box has fun educational activities designed specifically for a child’s age.

The boxes are created by experts, including former educators and child development professionals, and tested by kids. This certainly makes my life easier, knowing I can spend less time researching which activities are appropriate for my daughter and more time playing with her.

The crates deliver activities in your child’s zone of proximal development, according to KiwiCo. This is a fancy way of saying the activities provide a little bit of a challenge so your child learns – but not so much of a challenge that they give up. It’s the sweet spot of learning, and as a former teacher, I’ve seen how students flourish in this zone.

What KiwiCo is like to use

The box definitely hit the sweet spot for my daughter. She is currently 18 months old, and her “Solve With Me” box came with four different activities, all designed to help her learn shapes: a peg puzzle, lacing beads, squishy shapes, and beanbag shapes. It also came with the book “Poppy’s Shape Search.”

My daughter immediately started exploring the activities, attempting to stack shapes onto the correct peg and playing with the large plush shapes that can be used for multiple games and activities.

panda crate ellie
Many lacing toys are too difficult for my daughter, but these beads are designed to  allow her to have success.

My daughter rotates through the activities pretty evenly but seems to gravitate toward the lacing beads. Many other lacing toys are too difficult for her, but these beads are designed to perfectly hit that zone of proximal development and allow her to have success. For that reason, the lacing beads are my favorite activity in the box, too.

She also enjoys playing with the three large squishy shapes. The magazine in the crate provided a song to sing about the shapes, and she often holds them and dances while we sing the song.

What makes KiwiCo stand out

My favorite thing about the Panda Crate is that it comes with activity cards that explain how to play with each of the toys. The box also comes with a an issue of “Wonder Magazine” and “Beyond the Crate” cards that offer many additional ways to play with your child and support their development.

When my brain is fried from sleepless nights or I’m just not feeling creative, these ideas are a lifesaver. After my daughter was done exploring the box on her own, I used the ideas to encourage her to learn more.

panda crate 1
My daughter and I keep returning to these toys and activities to learn and play more.

Open-ended toys like the ones in the Panda Crate help extend play and ensure that kids won’t just engage with toys once and then toss them aside, never to be played with again. My daughter and I continually come back to her box to learn and play more.

How the subscription works

When you sign up for a subscription, KiwiCo will send you a crate every two months. Each crate is specifically tailored to meet the developmental milestones of your child’s age.

Because it’s a subscription-based service, you can save money by purchasing a longer subscription. Depending on your subscription, box prices range from $15.50 to $39.90 each. For an extra $9.95, you can also upgrade your box to include a book like the one I received in my box.

The bottom line

Babies and toddlers don’t need a lot of stuff, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on toys to make them happy. Play with them, read to them, sing to them, and talk to them, and you’re setting them up for success.

Sometimes, though, we all need a little help when it comes to planning and setting up activities that will enrich our kids while they have fun. If you’re like me and you want some structured ideas for play and to encourage proper development, the KiwiCo Panda Crate makes it easy. It will give you the confidence and peace of mind that you’re continually providing educational activities for your child at each stage of their development.

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40 thoughtful baby shower gifts that new parents will thank you for – all under $50

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aiden anais swaddle
  • Baby showers celebrate the arrival of a new life and help parents collect useful, clever gifts that make life easier.
  • Below are 40 gifts under $50 that make for thoughtful baby shower gifts.
  • Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Reviews’ gift guides here.

The world of baby products – especially for non-parents – can be daunting and confusing. What’s needed? What works? What do new parents want or love?

If you’re attending a baby shower, this makes selecting the perfect gift a bit difficult. You want to make the lives of soon-to-be exhausted parents easier and brighter.

Plenty of new parents put together a baby registry, but if most of the gifts are already gone or you want to go rogue and pick up something they’ve never heard of but will absolutely love, you’ll find 40 options below – none of which will cost more than $50.

Below are 40 thoughtful baby shower gifts under $50:

A portable changing station for on-the-go parents

Skip Hop Pronto Signature Changing Station

Skip Hop Pronto Signature Changing Station, available at Amazon, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and BuyBuyBaby, from $27.99

This padded changing station includes multiple pockets for diapers and wipes, and it can be folded up into a clutch after baby has been changed. Parents can toss it in the diaper bag, clip it to the stroller, or leave it in the car for convenient changes.

A white noise machine so parents can get some sleep

Hatch Rest Mini Machine

Hatch Rest Mini Machine, available at Hatch, $39.99

A white noise machine will relax and calm both parent and baby, letting each of them get some much-needed rest. The machine goes all night long — blocking out the random noises of the neighborhood. They can control the Rest Mini from their phone, so they don’t even need to get out of bed.

A gift card for organic baby clothes that gives back

Hanna Andersson Baby Clothes

Hanna Andersson Gift Card, available at Hanna Andersson, $50

Perhaps known best for its matching family pajamas, Hanna Andersson also makes virtually every piece of baby clothing imaginable. Some of their prints feature rainbows, dachshunds, and Winnie the Pooh. Plus, the brand partners with Baby2Baby, providing children living in poverty with diapers, clothing, and basic necessities.

A diaper cake

Hello Bello Diaper Cake

Hello Bello Diaper Cake, available at Walmart, $34.97

Diaper cakes are a classic baby shower gift, but not everybody has the DIY skills to create one. This diaper cake includes wipes, shampoo, and bubble bath in addition to 35 newborn diapers.

A diaper bag backpack that holds everything they need

HaloVa Diaper Bag

HaloVa Diaper Bag, available at Amazon, $32.99

This functional diaper bag has a spot for everything. Parents can stash all their essentials with two bottle pockets, a wet clothes pocket, a wipe pouch, and multiple main-compartment pockets. Best of all: It’s machine washable.

A top knot hat to keep baby’s head warm

Copper Pearl Top Knot Hat

Copper Pearl Top Knot Hat, available at Amazon, $12.50

This tiny top knot hat keeps baby’s head warm and cozy. Pair it with a matching knotted gown for the most adorable newborn photoshoot.

A new nursing bra

Third Love nursing bra

ThirdLove gift card, available at ThirdLove, starting at $15

Bra size can change rapidly and drastically throughout pregnancy and postpartum. Give a Third Love gift card so they can take the brand’s quiz and find the right size. Third Love’s 24/7 Classic Nursing Bra is available in sizes A-I.

An activity gym that stimulates the senses

Baby Einstein 4 in 1 Kickin' Tunes

Baby Einstein 4-in-1 Kickin’ Tunes Music & Language Discovery Gym, available at Target and BuyBuyBaby, $49.99

This music-themed activity gym encourages babies to kick, which is an important gross-motor skill. The set includes a piano, sensory toys, a mirror, and a prop pillow.

Baby bottles that reduce colic

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Options Anti Colic Glass Baby Bottles

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Options Anti-Colic Glass Baby Bottles, 2 pack, available at Amazon, $15.98

These affordable glass baby bottles have a removable vent that is designed to reduce colic. You can also purchase additional accessories like different nipples or silicone sleeves.

A simple sensory board book

That’s Not My Monkey Book

That’s Not My Monkey by Fiona Watt, available at Barnes & Noble, $9.99

Babies will be fascinated by this book that only has a few pages. Each page is illustrated in bright colors and features a different texture for baby to feel.

A healthcare kit with all the essentials

Safety 1st Baby Healthcare and Grooming Kit

Safety 1st Deluxe 25-Piece Baby Healthcare and Grooming Kit, available at Amazon, 19.99

Make the postpartum period a little less stressful by gifting some healthcare essentials. This kit includes nail clippers, a thermometer, combs, and a nasal aspirator. It even comes with a carrying case that has convenient see-through compartments.

Clever, unique bibs that actually make baby messes cute

Hudson Baby Drooler Bibs

Hudson Baby Food-Themed Drooler Bibs, available at Amazon and BuyBuyBaby, from $18.80

The only thing that makes spit up and pureed avocado stains funny is one of these food-themed pun bibs.

A stuffed animal that plays peek-a-boo

Flappy the Elephant

Flappy the Elephant, available at Amazon, from $29.99

This plush elephant plays peek-a-boo and sings “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” For added effect, the elephant’s ears flop back and forth, actually covering its eyes during the game.

Fun animal-inspired plates and bowls

$4

Silicone Elephant Shaped Plate & Bowl, available at Pottery Barn Kids, from $5.99

If you’re looking for an inexpensive add-on gift, these adorable animal-inspired bowls and plates are a sweet option. 

Five natural, gentle essentials

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Mustela Newborn Arrival Gift Set, available at Nordstrom, $34.99

Mustela is another well-loved brand for babies, and this set of newborn arrival essentials has five products designed for delicate newborn skin. Parents can trust all the products to work together gently and effectively. 

Wrist rattles

$7 target

Infantino Gaga Wrist Rattle, available at Target, $6.99

Wrist rattles are the distraction that baby won’t accidentally shake off as easily as other toys. They also have teethable, textured silicone borders that are BPA-free. 

A book that fosters cultural learning

Fry Bread  A Native American Family Story

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, from $15.36

“Fry Bread” is a story centered around food and culture. The book is chock-full of metaphors and even includes an educational note from the author and a delicious fry bread recipe.

Nursery skin care essentials

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Honest Baby Arrival Gift Set, available on The Honest Company, $49.95

Honest is well-loved by parents because all of its products are meant to be safe, gentle, and as minimally processed as possible. This set includes face and body lotion, shampoo and body wash, healing balm, and other essentials that are hypoallergenic and free of parabens, sulfates, dyes, and other risky additives. 

Cult-favorite cream moms swear by after breastfeeding

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Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Minis, 3-Count, available at Target, $8.25

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream, available on Amazon, $8.25

You don’t have to hunt far online for the most beloved new mom products for mention of Lansinoh’s Lanolin nipple cream. It soothes, protects, and is really effective. It’s also 100% natural and preservative-free. 

Tethers that keep things like spoons and sippy cups from falling

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Lil’ Sidekick Multi-Functional Tether, available at Lil’ Sidekick, $9.99

These multifunctional tethers may not be on the registry, but they should be. They’ll keep things like spoons and forks from falling to the floor while baby eats. 

Amazon Prime for easy, cheap, and fast refills of essentials

amazon boxes packages mail

Amazon Prime Three Month Subscription, available at Amazon, $39

The best thing you can give — if they don’t already have it — is probably an Amazon Prime membership. Parents can order essentials without leaving the house, pay less, and get it within two days with free shipping. It’ll also give them access to tons of other benefits. Plus, if they do have Prime already, your gift will convert into a gift card for them to use on any supplies they need.

A clever baby briefcase to store all of baby’s important documents

A baby briefcase to keep all their important documents in one place

Document Organizer, available at Nordstrom, $29.95

This clever baby briefcase is a cute (and helpful) way to organize all the important papers parents will need to keep track of — from birth certificates to passport photos. 

A fun, nourishing mask for her belly

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Hatch Belly Mask, available at Hatch, $12

Hatch’s Belly Mask is a fun way for them to relax and spend time caring for themselves. The mask is full of nourishing ingredients like aloe vera and propolis to minimize stretch marks during pregnancy and soften skin postpartum. 

Tiny booties that look like fortune cookies

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Baby Fortune Cookie Booties, available at Uncommon Goods, $29

Cute, unique, and sure to give baby’s parents a laugh. Don’t gift these if you aren’t ready for all the pictures grateful parents will send you. 

A soothing anti-swelling cream for legs and feet

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Hatch Down, Girl Soothing Leg + Foot Relief, available at Hatch, $42

Hatch is a popular brand for maternity wear — so popular, in fact, that a good portion of the startup’s customers wear the clothes long after pregnancy because they love the aesthetic. 

Down, Girl is a cooling, anti-inflammatory gel-based cream that Hatch designed to soothe  and reduce swelling in legs and feet during pregnancy. 

A beloved teething toy

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Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush and Teether, available at Amazon, $6.79

This infant training toothbrush and teether looks like a banana and helps kids get through the terrible teething phase with minimal tears. 

A contoured bath sponge that makes it easier to bathe newborns

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Summer Infant Comfy Bath Sponge, available at Target, $7.99

This infant bath sponge is a slip-resistant cushion with a contoured shape that makes it easier to bathe newborns. There’s a slight incline to support baby’s head, neck, and back, and the foam is quick-drying for fast cleanup.

Lots and lots of diapers

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Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers, available at Target, $8.29

It’s not as fun as buying baby moccasins in a gemstone color, but diapers are one of the most practical and thoughtful gifts you can give a new parent. They’ll need as many as they can stockpile, and it’s a relief to already have them at home. Consider purchasing larger sizes — many babies grow out of newborn diapers long before their stash runs out. 

A hooded baby towel for cozy bath time

parachute baby towel

Parachute Hooded Baby Towel, available at Parachute, $29

Parachute’s line of baby sheets and towels is extremely cute, and the brand has earned its reputation for quality linens. This hooded towel is perfect for a cozy bath time and a quick dry. 

Crib sheets in cute prints from a beloved startup

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Brooklittles Crib Sheets, available at Brooklinen, from $28.80

The internet’s favorite adult bedding startup also offers a line of sheets for little ones. Brooklinen’s Brooklittles line comes in tons of fun, vibrant patterns and prints.

A cult-favorite, comfortable baby wrap

A cult-favorite, comfortable baby wrap

Baby K’tan Original Baby Carrier, available at Amazon, $49.95

This sling is comfortable, doesn’t have any complicated straps and buckles, and can be used with kids from babies to toddlers to help parents get more time with two free hands.  When we polled Business Insider parents for their favorite registry items, one told us this is the only thing she gives as a baby gift because of how good it is. 

Classic swaddling cloths

aiden anais swaddle

Aden + Anais Set of 4 Classic Swaddling Cloths, available at Nordstrom, $49.95

Aden + Anais are known for making quality baby products, and this set of classic swaddling cloths is no different. They come in cheerful patterns and are made from breathable, lightweight muslin that can be used for virtually anything. 

A portable gadget for fussy sleepers

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Baby Shusher Sleep Miracle Soother, available at Target, $34.99

No matter where baby is — in the car, at home, or in public — this little white noise machine helps fussy babies fall asleep. 

A pacifier that won’t keep falling to the ground in a never-ending loop

$15 ish

WubbaNub Monkey Pacifier, available at Nordstrom, $14.95

This WubbaNub pacifier is beloved among parents for good reason — a pacifier attached to a stuffed animal is less likely to fall to the ground a thousand times a day. They will thank you for this cute and clever gift. 

The go-to set for baby’s bath time

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Aveeno Baby Daily Bathtime Solutions Gift Set, available at Amazon, $17.92

Make bath time easier with a set of gentle essentials parents can feel good about using — and that they’ll love having on hand for messy days ahead, without a trip to the store. 

All the baby basics in one convenient kit

All the baby basics in one convenient kit

Fridababy Baby Basics Kit, available at Amazon, $34.98

If you’re a parent, don’t you kind of wish the mythical stork dropped off an entire bag of essentials at the same time? This Baby Basics Kit attempts to do something similar: grouping favorite products from trusted brand Fridababy for everything from “claws” (nails) to “flakes” (dry skin). 

A silicone roll-up bib that will save them time and time again

$12

OXO Tot Waterproof Silicone Roll Up Bib (2-pack), available at Amazon, $19.99

What’s conveniently mobile, well-designed, extremely useful, and far better than the status quo it replaces? A roll-up, silicone bib with a shelf to catch the rainstorm of food that babies drop while eating. Plus, the Velcro means it’s easily removed. Even if it’s not on the registry already, parents will thank you for it. 

Adorable, bright baby moccasins

Adorable, bright baby moccasins

Freshly Picked Baby Moccasins, available at Freshly Picked, from $45

It’s not anywhere near as practical as gifting diapers, but these tiny moccasins are adorable — and they come in a huge selection of fun prints and vibrant colors. 

Funny pacifiers that parents will get a kick out of

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Mustachifier, available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Amazon, $9.99

Few things diffuse tears and panic for babies like pacifiers. For adults, the same thing can be achieved with a little much-needed chuckle at their child.

A personalized bedtime book

A personalized bedtime book

Personalized Goodnight Little Me Book, available at Uncommon Goods, $40

Create a personalized goodnight book for a gift they’ll always remember. To make it even more sentimental, write a heartfelt inscription inside for when baby grows up. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best places to shop for kids’ clothes in 2021

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

kids clothing
  • When shopping for kids’ clothing, consider upcoming growth spurts, holidays, seasons, sales, and your child’s taste.
  • Well-made kids’ clothing won’t wear out as quickly and can be handed down later.
  • We did the research and testing to find the best kids’ clothing stores and brands for kids of all ages and needs.

Both new and seasoned parents know the struggle of buying kids’ clothing. Whether it’s for a baby’s first birthday or a teen’s school dance, it’s difficult to avoid spending too much on clothes that almost immediately get stained, torn, or outgrown.

Even though I love and work in fashion, my daughter spent most of her first year in hand-me-down onesies. Now that she is approaching her second birthday, I’m itching to dress her in cuter clothes. But it can be daunting to sort through the variety of kids’ clothing online.

Quality and prices vary widely, and finding the time to navigate a retailer’s website is no easy feat. Add to that kids’ often-changing preferences and the struggle of finding functional yet on-trend clothing. To help guide you, we’ve looked at many retailers. For each one, we considered the range of styles, sizing inclusivity, quality of materials, and prices.

Here are the best places to shop for kids’ clothes

The best baby clothes

Janie and Jack baby clothes

Janie and Jack baby clothes make every day a special occasion with their fun prints and high-quality fabrics.

Janie and Jack’s clothing run true to size, which makes online ordering easy and fast. The brand offers a large selection for infants and a variety of pieces, including bodysuits, sweaters, dresses, and swimsuits, as well as accessories like shoes, hats, socks, and bows.

The colors and fabric look new even after repeated washing, though we do recommend line-drying the garments because cotton can shrink in machine dryers. My daughter lived in her Janie and Jack swimsuits this past summer, and the material did not droop or fade in the sun. 

What we like:

Whale Heart Footed (small)Baby Cable Knit Cardigan (small)Baby Floral Romper (small)Baby Button Jogger (small)
The best baby clothes on a budget

Carter's Baby Clothes

Carter’s offers a large selection of affordable baby clothes that hold up well after repeated washes.

For everyday staples, Carter’s is a reliable brand with value packs and simple styles that are great for babies who may cycle through several outfits in a day. There are cute bodysuits and sleep sets, as well as hoodies, jackets, shoes, and other accessories. Carter’s runs frequent sales, but even pieces that are full priced are budget friendly. 

I have a variety of Carter’s pieces that have been handed down from at least two other parents, and the garments are still in good shape. The cotton does shrink a bit after a while and some pieces run big, but there have been no noticeable tears or holes. 

What we like:

Animals Original Bodysuits (4 pack) (small)Floral Zip-Up French Terry Hoodie (small)Cotton Pant (4 pack) (small)Heart Chambray Romper (small)
The best toddler clothes

Tea Collection

Tea Collection offers everyday and special occasion toddler clothing in unique prints and patterns on soft fabrics.

Tea Collection pieces are some of my favorites for their distinctive prints and patterns. The quality of the fabrics, buttons, and seams on the garments is on par with adult clothing, and the designs are practical, modern, and inspired by global styles. With the exceptional quality comes a higher price tag, however. 

Though items are machine washable, using a delicate cycle and skipping the dryer will help them retain their shape and color. The brand also donates 10% of their profits to charitable organizations like the Global Fund for Children and the Homeless Prenatal Program in their home city of San Francisco, California.

What we like:

All Star Popover (small)Ruffle Hem Dress (small)Plaid Button Up (small)French Terry Joggers (small)
The best toddler clothes on budget

old navy toddler clothes

Old Navy is a budget-friendly one-stop shop to outfit your toddler and the whole family.

The quality of Old Navy clothing exceeds expectations when considering the brand’s ultra-low prices. The patterns are fun and cheery, and the versatile pieces have great value. For example, toddler pajamas come in fun prints for just $10. Its vast inventory includes basic sweats and tees, jackets, blouses, button-downs, dresses, jeans, pants, shorts, and swimwear as well as accessories like socks and shoes.

I’ve found that their sleepwear runs small, but other pieces are true to size. While the clothing won’t hold up as well as our top pick for toddlers, Old Navy runs frequent sales, so stocking up for the entire family is budget friendly.

What we like:

Fit & Flare Printed Button-Front Dress (small)Vintage Dolman-Sleeve Sweatshirt (small)French Terry Button-Front Cardigan (small)U-Shaped Jogger Pants (small)
The best kids’ clothes

Best kids' clothing stores in 2021 - where to buy children's clothes

Maison Me is Maisonette’s in-house label with classic everyday designs that hold up to wear and tear.

Maison Me garments are made to last with pieces constructed from thick and sturdy fabrics that won’t wear out. The classic designs include traditional polos, plaid dresses, lots of striped pieces, and adorable florals. One of my favorite pieces that I tested with my toddler was a pink two-piece track suit that was ideal for play. I also found the leggings and drawstring pants were comfy and well-made.

The brand recommends machine-washing its clothing on cold and tumble-drying on low for optimal care. In my experience, this preserves both the quality and size of the garment.

What we like:

Pearl Lace Collar Dress (small)Clay Zip Hoodie (small)Reese Ribbed Legging (small)Gunnar Drawstring Pant (small)
The best kids’ clothes on a budget

h&m kids clothes

H&M has a diverse selection of organic clothes, all at bargain prices. 

H&M‘s environmental consciousness, budget-friendly prices, and diverse selection make it a great option for rapidly growing kids. The colorful prints, fun details, and prices are hard to resist. I started shopping there when my daughter was a baby, and as she grew, I continued to buy their affordable eco-friendly clothes. 

H&M offers kids’ clothes up to age 10 and a more sophisticated line for ages 8 to 14. They also sell accessories like tights, hats, shoes, and hair clips. If your child is Frozen-obsessed like mine, you’ll also love H&M’s partnerships with Disney, among others. The offerings are well-made, true to size, and wash easily.

What we like:

Cotton Chinos (small)Ruffle Trimmed Jersey Dress (small)Denim Leggings (3 pack) (small)Denim Shirt (small)
The best adaptive kids’ clothes

appaman adaptive kids clothing

Appaman’s Adaptive line caters to kids who have challenges with dressing, thanks to thoughtful and unique design features.

Appaman’s Adaptive line features accessible versions of its most popular clothing to empower kids to dress themselves. An ideal line not only considers accessibility but also style choices that are on par with non-adaptive lines, according to Debbie Stone, founder and executive director at Pop.Earth, a nonprofit committed to providing wellness options for people with autism and developmental disorders.

Garments have Velcro closures, magnetic zippers, and internal pant loops for dressing one-handed. Velcro ankle cuffs allow for prosthetics, orthotics, and other medical devices. The selection is somewhat lacking, with 42 pieces at time of publication, but the garments wash and wear exceptionally well. Though on the pricier side, the quality is unparalleled.

What we like:

Kathleen Dress (small)Rainbow Jean Short (small)Glen Hooded Shirt (small)Skinny Twill Pant (small)
The best adaptive kids’ clothes on a budget

cat & jack target adaptive kids clothing

Target’s Cat & Jack line includes clothing with abdominal access, snap closures for easy dressing, no tags, flat seams, and thumb holes to keep sleeves in place.

A major retailer like Target can broaden the range and accessibility of adaptive clothes. “At Pop.Earth, a charity for autism and special needs, I hear from numerous parents how important it is that clothing lines pivot to include these people,” said Stone. Cat & Jack is a favorite of the parents I polled, and while its adaptive offerings are somewhat limited, the prices are unbeatable. 

Cat & Jack makes leggings, pants, polos, tees, dresses, swimwear, jackets, and more. Like Carter’s, the clothing wear and wash well despite their lower price point. Garments also come with a one-year return policy with receipt if you’re not satisfied.

What we like:

Adaptive Hooded Adjustable Kids’ Bodysuit (small)Moxie Peach Abdominal Access Dress (small)Adaptive Graphic Kids’ T-Shirt (small)Doubleknit Thermal Jogger Pants (small)
The best tween clothes

nordstrom tween clothing

Nordstrom has a wide variety of tween clothing from popular brands and one of the best return policies.

Nordstrom is one of my favorite places to shop as an adult, and the options for tweens are just as impressive. There are well-known brands like Ugg, Hannah Banana, and Steve Madden, and a variety of other lesser-known brands that are equally cool among the tween set. Prices run the gamut, and offerings include everything from Nike and Adidas sweatshirts to sparkly, formal dresses. If you’re looking for a deal, there are great sales around the holidays as well as during its annual July sale.

Quality depends on the brand you buy, but I’ve found that pretty much everything I’ve purchased at Nordstrom withstands wear and tear. The product pages include recommended care instructions if you want to know before you buy. Nordstrom also offers free shipping and returns as well as local curbside pickup.

What we like:

Utility Jumpsuit (small)Kids’ Tricolor Stripe Hoodie (small)Arawak Gingham Whale Performance Button-Down Shirt (small)The Jane Distressed Cuffed Hem Jeans (small)
The best tween clothes on a budget

kohls tween clothing

Kohl’s has tons of affordable brand-name clothing, and Kohl’s cash can get you even more savings.

Kohl’s is a go-to for tweens, thanks to its reasonable prices on brand-name items, including clothing from Levi’s and Under Armour. You can shop by price on the website, with thousands of offerings from $6 to $20. You can also sort by age range, occasion, and size, including extended size options.

Many pieces have printed designs or phrases, but there are basics as well. Some of the lower-cost clothing may be a bit thin and flimsy. Though they won’t last multiple seasons, they are great for messy art classes or sports practice. 

What we like:

Jogger Pants (small)Tie Dye Jumpsuit (small)Polo (small)Allover Logo Hoodie (small)
The best teen clothes

american eagle outfitters clothing for teens

American Eagle Outfitters has an excellent selection and range of size options, and its rewards program is budget-friendly.

American Eagle’s basics and on-trend styles make it our top pick for teen clothing. It also beats out the competition in terms of affordability, thanks to its rewards program and sales that often include savings of 25%. Between AEO and Aerie labels, the selection is vast. Denim styles include the brand’s bestselling high-waisted jeggings and straight fit jeans. You’ll also find tees, sweatshirts, blouses, dresses, joggers, comfy loungewear, swimwear, and accessories like socks and shoes.

American Eagle has a rewards program, which offers cash rewards, members-only sales, a birthday coupon, free shipping, and returns. Garment construction can sometimes be irregular — crooked seams or an uneven hem on a dress, for example. However, the jeans last for years and get more comfortable after multiple washes.

What we like:

Ribbed Long Sleeve Twist Front Dress (small)Ne(x)t Level Curvy Highest Waist Jegging (small)Plaid Poplin Button-Up Shirt (small)Active 24/7 Jogger (small)
What else we like

gap teen clothing

While the following stores and brands didn’t quite make the cut, if you haven’t found what you’re looking for among our top picks, consider the following.

Gap Teen: Through its new eco-friendly initiative, NXT Gen Gap, Gap offers quality basics with an ethical backstory. However, its inventory and deals fall short of our teen pick, American Eagle Outfitters.

Mori: Mori makes excellent sleepwear for babies and toddlers, but it doesn’t have much of a selection for everyday clothing.

All The Babies: This organic, vegan line is mostly limited to cozy sweatshirts and cotton bodysuits. It runs a program that donates used garments to families in need.

T.J. Maxx: We love T.J. Maxx for great deals on name-brand clothing, but it doesn’t offer a large variety of sizes online. Shopping in-store also takes time and is hit or miss. 

J.Crew: J.Crew has high-quality, well tailored pieces for the whole family. While its children’s clothing lasts a long time, the garments are quite expensive.

Read the original article on Business Insider

30 companies that give back all year long – not just around the holidays

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companies that give back cotopaxi
Cotopaxi is a B Corp that puts 1% of its yearly revenue toward grants to nonprofits making sustainable changes in poverty alleviation.

  • Giving back is woven into the business and operations of these 30 companies. 
  • If you shop from the following brands, you’re also supporting several charitable initiatives. 
  • Need more gift ideas? Check out our ultimate gift guide.

Aside from volunteering with or sending direct donations to nonprofits that make our world a better place, one way you can do your part throughout the year is to support businesses that give back. During these tumultuous times, giving back to those in need has never felt more urgent and necessary.

If you’re gifting your loved ones, it’ll only benefit more parties if you buy from companies with a social and environmental conscience. 

When you buy a gift from these 30 companies, you’re also helping to plant a tree, improve livelihoods in underserved areas, save an animal, and more.

Shop at these 30 brands that give back all year long:

Blk & Bold

Blk & Bold  coffee

Shop gifts from Blk & Bold

Blk & Bold, a newly certified B-corporation, prides itself on prioritizing giving back as much as making a profit. The company donates 5% of its profits to supporting at-risk youth and works with over ten organizations with various missions to improve the lives of kids across the country.

Learn more about the initiative here.

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods can flannel

Shop gifts from Uncommon Goods

Combine unique and fun finds with giving back through Uncommon Goods’ Better to Give program. Not only are you supporting small businesses by shopping with Uncommon Goods, but once you select a Better to Give partner, you’ll also be supporting the causes most important to you. Uncommon Goods currently works with organizations that focus on issues including forest conservation, supporting those whose lives have been impacted by conflict and natural disasters, and more. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Bookshop

The Vanishing Half 1200x900

Shop gifts from Bookshop

Bookshop allows customers to support local bookstores from afar by allowing readers to purchase books directly from their favorite bookstores. If you would like to support a specific bookstore, use Bookshop’s store locator and your pick will receive 100% of the profit from the sale. Bookshop’s mission is to support independent bookstores by connecting them with potential customers. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Everlane

companies that give back everlane

Shop gifts from The 100% Human Collection at Everlane

Everlane donates 10% from every purchase in this collection of tees, sweatshirts, face masks, and tote bags to the ACLU and has raised over $1 million to date. 

Learn more about the initiative on each individual product page in the collection

Bombas

companies that give back bombas

Shop gifts from Bombas

Whether you’d like to gift athletic socks, hiking socks, or dress socks, Bombas has you — and the feet of someone in need — covered. For every pair purchased, it donates a specially-designed pair to a homeless shelter. It has donated more than 43 million pairs to more than 3,000 giving partners in the US. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

STATE Bags

companies that give back state bags

Shop gifts from STATE Bags

When you buy a STATE bag, the company fills another with school supplies and gives it to a local student in need at a “Bag Drop” rally. It also shines a light on issues like mass incarceration, the Flint water crisis, and Black Lives Matter through its #WhatDoWeTellTheKids initiatives. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Leesa

leesa foam

Shop gifts from Leesa

Leesa donates one mattress to a nonprofit for every 10 sold and has donated more than 37,000 mattresses so far. The gift of a better night’s sleep for your recipient (plus someone in need) comes in the form of four different mattresses

Learn more about the initiative here.

AUrate

companies that give back aurate

Shop gifts from AUrate

Fine jewelry startup AUrate finds beauty in honestly priced, ethically sourced gold jewelry — as well as the power of reading. Every year, it donates thousands of books to students in need in the US. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Cotopaxi

companies that give back cotopaxi
Cotopaxi is a B Corp that puts 1% of its yearly revenue toward grants to nonprofits making sustainable changes in poverty alleviation.

Shop gifts from Cotopaxi

For colorful outdoor and travel gear they’ll be proud to carry, shop at Cotopaxi, the B Corp that puts 1% of its yearly revenue toward grants to nonprofits making sustainable changes in poverty alleviation. So far, it has awarded 42 grants in six countries. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Cuyana

companies that give back cuyana

Shop gifts from Cuyana

In line with its “Fewer, Better” philosophy, Cuyana encourages shoppers to clean out their closets by providing shipping labels to thredUP. Send in a box of high-quality apparel they no longer need, and they’ll receive a credit to shop at Cuyana. When that credit is spent, Cuyana donates 5% of the profit to H.E.A.R.T. (Helping Ease Abuse Related Trauma). 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Skylar

companies that give back skylar

Shop gifts from Skylar

Skylar is a natural, eco-friendly fragrance company that makes candles and perfume perfect for gifting. It donates a portion of proceeds and time to Step Up, a nonprofit dedicated to mentorship for girls. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Thrive Market

Thrive Market

Shop gift memberships from Thrive Market

Thrive Market, a place to shop natural and organic products for less, offers a one-for-one membership program. That means that every paid membership gives a free one to someone in need, like a low-income family, student, teacher, veteran, or first responder. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Parachute

companies that give back parachute

Shop gifts from Parachute

For every Venice percale bedding set sold at Parachute, it donates one malaria-prevention bed net in partnership with the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Causebox

companies that give back causebox

Gift a subscription from Causebox

Causebox stands out among the bevy of beauty and accessories subscription boxes by only featuring socially conscious products and companies that give back. Its main areas of impact are women’s empowerment, supporting disadvantaged producers, education and skill development, and poverty alleviation. The company itself also helps various charity partners raise funds and awareness. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Wildfang

companies that give back wildfangjpg

Shop gifts from Wildfang

Wildfang, a female-founded and women-run clothing and accessories brand, donates a percentage of profits from full-price goods to a rotating monthly charity. Charities have included Planned Parenthood, Black Girls Code, and Girls Inc.

Learn more about the initiative here.

JUDY

judy emergency kit review

Shop gifts from JUDY

Judy’s bright and expert-informed emergency preparedness kits empower you to get your safety plan in place. It just launched earlier in 2020 but plans on donating 1% of sales annually to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, which provides essential equipment and training to supplement city resources. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Love With Food by SnackNation

companies that give back love with food

Gift a subscription from Love With Food by SnackNation

Better-for-you snack subscription service Love With Food by SnackNation nourishes both stomach and soul by donating at least one meal to a family in need — through Feeding America — for every snack box purchased. Thanks to its subscribers’ healthy appetites for organic and all-natural snacks, it has donated over 1 million meals. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

ThirdLove

companies that give back thirdlove

Shop gifts from ThirdLove

ThirdLove partners with Good360, I Support the Girls, and more organizations to donate its comfortable bras to women in need. It has donated more than $40 million of bras to date, and in the past, it has also donated a bra to a California wildfire victim for every bra purchased. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Warby Parker

companies that give back warby parker

Shop gifts from Warby Parker

If this were like any other year, Warby Parker would distribute a pair of glasses for every pair sold in two different ways. The first helps train adults to administer basic eye exams and sell glasses for affordable prices, while the second gives vision care and glasses to students in need. Its partners include VisionSpring, the Department of Education in New York, and the Department of Health in Baltimore

Instead, Warby Parker has temporarily suspended glasses distribution due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, it’s providing PPE and preventative health supplies to healthcare workers and communities in need for each pair of glasses purchased. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Allbirds

companies that give back allbirds

Shop gifts from Allbirds

Lightly used shoes from this popular startup known for its use of unique materials are sent to Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that donates shoes to people who have been affected by disasters. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

United by Blue

companies that give back united by blue

Shop gifts from United By Blue

The conservation-minded outdoor brand pledges to remove one pound of trash from the planet’s oceans and waterways for every product sold. It has removed more than 3.5 million pounds of trash through organized cleanups, while also using more responsible materials like recycled polyester in its products. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Ethique

companies that give back ethique

Shop gifts from Ethique

Gone are the days of wasteful plastic haircare and skincare bottles. Ethique packs the essential ingredients into a concentrated bar that’s equivalent to three bottles of liquid shampoo, then donates 20% of profits to conservation, animal welfare, and environmental groups and “adopts” animals to pay for their care. It has worked with over 170 organizations worldwide and has ongoing partnerships with Rainforest Trust and HUHA, among others. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Avocado Mattress

companies that give back avocado mattress

Shop gifts from Avocado Mattress

These eco-friendly mattresses are made from materials like natural latex harvested from sustainable tree-tapped sources and organic cotton. The company donates 1% of revenue to environmental nonprofits like Plastic Oceans International and Big Green

Learn more about the initiative here.

Tatcha

companies that give back tatcha

Shop gifts from Tatcha

Every purchase from this Japanese beauty-inspired brand helps fund girls’ education. Tatcha’s Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Future program with nonprofit Room to Read has funded more than 4.6 million days of school for girls in Asia and Africa.

Learn more about the initiative here.

Patagonia

companies that give back patagonia

Shop gifts from Patagonia

Since 1985, Patagonia has donated $89 million to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups. It also donates to nonprofits through its Employee Charity Match program, invests in socially and environmentally minded companies through its own venture capital fund, and donates new and used clothing. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Yoobi

companies that give back yoobi

Shop gifts from Yoobi

Yoobi partners with the Kids In Need Foundation to donate a school supply to a classroom every time you buy one of its products. We’re fans of its sturdy notebooks and weekly calendar planner pads. So far, it’s donated supplies to more than 4 million students.  

Learn more about the initiative here.

KitNipBox

kitnipbox $74.97, 3 months

Gift a subscription from KitNipBox

Each month, this cat toy and treat subscription service donates a portion of proceeds and products to shelters, rescues, and other feline welfare causes. It supports more than 100 animal welfare organizations. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

BarkBox

companies that give back barkbox

Gift a subscription from BarkBox

BarkBox has thousands of rescue and shelter partners that benefit from each subscription purchased. Be on the lookout for custom codes from your favorite organization. When you use the code, BarkBox donates $25 to that rescue or shelter. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Sand Cloud

companies that give back sand cloud

Shop gifts from Sand Cloud

Anyone who loves spending time at the beach should be more invested in protecting marine life. Sand Cloud, which makes Turkish cotton beach towels, donates 10% of profits to organizations that protect and preserve beaches and oceans. 

Learn more about the initiative here.

Natori

companies that give back natori

Shop gifts from Natori

Natori’s giving program is unique in that it’s customizable and gives you the power to support a cause you care about. When you add one of its bras or lounge products to your cart, you can choose the nonprofit org that will receive 1% of your purchase. There’s a whole directory of organizations but some featured ones include The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Equal Justice Initiative

Learn more about the initiative here.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

36 thoughtful gifts for new moms – from cozy robes to meal delivery services

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

The First Five Years Baby Journal

  • You can make any special occasion for a new mom one to remember with a thoughtful, useful gift.
  • These 36 gifts are geared toward the needs and wants of a new mother, from baby clothes and sheets to humorous parenting books and convenient tech gadgets.
  • For gift ideas for everyone on your list, check out all of Insider Reviews gift guides.

Becoming a mother is, indeed, a life-changing experience, and with it, comes a new set of responsibilities and new items needed to make life easier. In a very uncertain time, new moms will appreciate gifts that are both practical and luxurious – things that can save them money, time, and provide extra snuggles with their newborn or bestow a few precious moments for self-care.

New motherhood is exciting, but it’s also a time of intense exhaustion and stress. These gifts will provide an opportunity to help them relax, indulge, and make their job a little easier. Some of these gifts are specifically related to the baby, while others are simply geared toward a mother who has earned some “me time.” New moms are among the busiest people in our lives, and they undoubtedly deserve these meaningful gifts. 

Here are 36 of the best gifts for new moms:

A floral arrangement to brighten their day

The Bouqs Co. flower arrangement

Gift a The Bouqs Co. floral arrangement, starting at $39

These fresh flower arrangements come from farms that minimize waste and recycle water. Choose from classic bouquets like roses or sunflowers or opt for a more unique option that she can plant. The floral arrangement will be a bright spot in her day.

A treat to satisfy their sweet tooth while supporting milk production

Munchkin Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites

Gift the Munchkin Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites, $19.96

These delicious cookies come in prepackaged bags so they can easily grab a snack while nursing. Although more studies examining the benefits of lactation cookies need to be conducted, this convenient treat certainly won’t hurt.

A memorable piece of jewelry

Marky Baby Breast Milk Jewelry DIY Kit

Gift the Marky Baby Milk Jewelry DIY Kit, starting at $42.46

Moms who choose to breastfeed often face an emotional journey. The piece of jewelry from this DIY kit is made with their own breast milk so they can remember this special time long after their baby has grown up.

A personalized beauty subscription

Birchbox subscription

Gift a Birchbox subscription, from $45 for three months

New moms will inevitably be dealing with spilled milk, spit-up, and lots of dirty diapers. Make them feel pampered with a personalized beauty subscription. They’ll be able to create her own Beauty Profile, making each box just right for them.

The best socks they’ve never tried

Under $25 Bombas socks

Gift a Bombas Gift Box, from $65

You might be thinking: Really, socks? But having a nice pair can make a world of difference. Bombas spent two years perfecting its gym socks. With thoughtful innovations, like a blister tab and performance cushioned footbeds, their feet will notice the difference. Bombas also donates a pair to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased. 

A personalized T-shirt

known supply shirt

Gift a personalized Fitted Crew at Known Supply, $32 + $10 monogram

Let’s be honest — they’re probably going to be spending a lot of time at home in the first year. What could be better than a cozy, comfortable tee made of Pima cotton? Bonus points if you choose a color that will hide a spit-up stain.

Merino-wool sneakers

allbirds

Gift Allbirds Wool Runners, $95

When you’re on your feet all day, a pair of good shoes makes all the difference. Allbirds wool runners won’t fail them — they’re soft, comfortable, and machine washable. You can’t go wrong with the originals, but the new Tree line is similarly light and comfortable. 

A variety of Korean sheet masks for an at-home spa day

Under $25 Facetory 7 Lux 1 Month Gift Subscription

Gift the Facetory 7 Lux 1-Month Gift Subscription, $19.90

They could try a different Korean sheet mask every day of the week if they wanted to. The unique sheets made with innovative ingredients are hard to find anywhere else — Facetory curates only the most interesting and effective in the K-beauty world. 

Adorable leather baby moccasins

freshly picked thumb

Gift Freshly Picked baby moccasins, from $59

These 100% genuine cowhide leather moccasins have a soft sole to help children who are starting to walk. They’re easy to put on, will actually stay on your kid’s feet, and come in many stylish prints and colors

An Audible gift subscription

under $25 audible

Gift an Audible subscription, from $15

Do you know what’s really hard to do when you’re holding a baby, a bottle, and trying to cook all at once? Read a book. What’s easier? Listening to one on Audible. They can listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and more while multitasking at home or strolling through the neighborhood.

A luxurious bathrobe

Bathrobe White E_2048x2048

Gift the Snowe Bathrobe, $100

Deemed the best and most absorbent terry robe on the market, Snowe’s bathrobe is super comfortable and fluffy. It’s perfect for a mom looking for moments of relaxation during an otherwise hectic day. 

A necklace that symbolizes unbreakable bond between mother and child

aurate

Gift the AUrate 14-Karat Connection Necklace, $380

This beautiful necklace, available in yellow, white, or rose gold, manages to be simultaneously elegant and bold. The company has ideals they’ll support, too: Its ethical solid gold is sourced from conflict-free suppliers and it donates a book to a child in need with each purchase. 

A 5-year journal

The First Five Years Baby Journal

Gift The First Five Years Baby Journal, $27.97

This linen-bound guided journal prompts parents to record milestones and memories to cherish for a lifetime. They’ll be able to look back at all the firsts — first birthday, first haircut, first steps — and beam with pride.

A funny book about the realities of motherhood

The Sh!t No One Tells You  A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year

Gift “The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year,” $9.05

Any mom knows that motherhood is not all rainbows and sunshine. This book dispenses practical and useful information in a humorous format that will have new parents laughing through the particularly hard days.  

A selection of soft, high-quality baby clothing basics

primary

Gift a Primary gift card, $25-$250

Shopping for baby clothing is easy at Primary, which was founded by two moms. The adorable, colorful, and gender-neutral styles are classic and made from safe Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, soft fabrics. Primary offers sizes from newborn through age 12.

A fitness app so they can work out with a trainer at home

Kira fitness app

Gift a subscription to Kira Stokes Fit, from $14.99/month

Flexibility is paramount for busy moms, and a good fitness app offers just that. The Kira Stokes Fit app has abs, legs, core, and full-body workouts available to stream anytime, on any device, so moms can sweat on their own time. 

Crib sheets from an Internet-famous bedding startup

Brooklinen_crib_sheets

Gift the Brooklinen Mini Crib Sheet Set, from $32

Adults love Brooklinen sheets, and now babies can enjoy the soft and comfortable experience, too. If they don’t yet have a set for themselves, include a gift that will help them sleep as well

A versatile diaper bag

Skip Hop Forma Backpack Diaper Bag

Gift the Skip Hop Forma Backpack Diaper Bag, $74.99

The lightweight, minimalist design of this diaper bag makes it a versatile option for new moms. The included cubes make it easy to organize diapers, wipes, bottles, and snacks. There’s also a convenient changing pad within one of its pockets.

Dinner on the table in under an hour

hellofresh new mom gifts

Gift a HelloFresh Gift Card, from $65

Meal kits take the guesswork out of cooking. Food is delivered weekly, meaning fewer trips to the grocery store, and the kit includes easy step-by-step recipes to prepare dinner — a snap when they’re basically too tired to function.

A long-distance touch lamp

filimin long distance touch lamps 3

Buy a set of two Filimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, $85-$170

A new mom’s life is busy and tiring, so they might not always be available to talk and catch up. When you want to let them know you’re thinking of them and vice versa without actually saying anything, just tap the lamp to make the other one light up

Stress relief in a tiny jade package

Cool & Depuff Jade Stone Facial Roller

Gift Revlon Cool & Depuff Jade Stone Facial Roller, $9.85

This facial roller can be used on all skin types to help improve circulation and reduce the puffiness that comes with sleep deprivation. It may temporarily firm skin, too. Most of all, it just feels good, especially when kept cool in the fridge.

A modern baby book

artifact uprising baby book

Gift the Artifact Uprising Baby Book “The Story of You,” from $99

With a sturdy fabric-bound cover (available in seven color/foil pairings), this interactive photo journal is a beautiful way to focus on the everyday moments rather than major milestones. The book is 100 pages and holds 47 photos. Register it online and get a complimentary set of Everyday Prints. 

Leggings that feel and look great

48408336_2129196127168692_3553362787717611520_o

Gift the 90 Degree By Reflex High-Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings, $24.99

We love these leggings because they are versatile, supportive, and silhouette smoothing. They also have a little pocket to hold keys or a credit card if she needs to run out. Available in 13 colors, these leggings are available up to size XXL and run true to size.

A moment of zen

Home of Chiji Energy Candle

Gift a Home of Chiji Energy Candle, from $39.99

This brand’s motto is “illuminate positivity” and when baby has been crying for hours, a positive vibe is desperately needed. These candles are infused with crystals like amethyst and rose quartz to bring some calm to a chaotic house.

A comfortable nursing bra

Motherhood Maternity Women's Wrap Front Nursing bra under $25

Gift the Motherhood Maternity Women’s Wrap Front Nursing Sleep Bra, from $11.99

All a new mom wants is to be comfortable, since chances are they aren’t for most of the day. This wrap-front bra is soft, wireless yet supportive, and perfect for wearing all day and all night.

A smart home device

Amazon Echo Dot 2020

Gift the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen), $49.99

Hands-free music streaming, news and weather reports, thermostat controls, and alarms for naps or feeding, the Echo Dot does it all. They’ll become a multitasking mom in no time with this smart home device.

A soothing under eye treatment

Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Masks

Gift Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Masks, $25

These gold foil eye masks provide a soothing treatment for tired eyes. They help with puffiness and dark circles. Best of all, they won’t fall off like some sheet masks, so they can hold baby upright while pampering themselves.

Bubble bath made from plant-based ingredients

Hello Bello Bubble Bath under $10

Gift the Hello Bello Bubble Bath, $5.98

Hello Bello, the baby line from Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, prides itself on making premium, plant-based products like body wash, baby lotion, wipes, and this bubble bath. The gentle, hypoallergenic formula is dermatologist-tested and safe on sensitive skin, so both mom and baby can enjoy a nourishing playful bath.

A soothie to keep pacifier off the floor

avent giraffe soothie

Philips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier Holder with Detachable Pacifier, available at Amazon, $14.88

This adorable pacifier and holder be used beginning at birth. The pacifier and animal detach from each other, so it’s easy and fast to clean both pieces. It comes in a variety of cute critters like an elephant, giraffe, monkey, and seal. 

A women’s multivitamin subscription

ritual vitamins

Gift a one-month supply of Ritual vitamins, $30

New moms have a lot to juggle, and eating healthy, balanced meals may fall by the wayside some days. Help them get the nutrients to keep their energy up with these vegan multivitamins, which contain folate, vitamin D3, B12, iron, and magnesium, and are free of artificial colorants, synthetic fillers, and gluten.

A reusable smart notebook

Rocketbook Everlast Reusable Smart Notebook, $29.97

Gift the Rocketbook Everlast Reusable Smart Notebook, $30.49

New parents live and die by a schedule. This notebook is surprisingly handy — it will send their handwritten notes to the cloud and wipes clean with a damp cloth. It makes sharing with the entire family a breeze, and no more wasting paper.

The gift of hydration

SodaStream Fountain Kit

Gift the SodaStream Fountain Kit, $49.88

Staying hydrated is key, especially for nursing moms. Indulge their sparkling water obsession with this sleek gadget that turns regular water into bubbly bliss in seconds. You’ll also be helping to save the planet by eliminating hundreds of single-use plastic bottles.  

Stress relief in portable balm form

scentered

Gift the Scentered Aromatherapy Balm Sticks Gift Set, $33

Scentered’s balm sticks come in five functions — Focus, Sleep Well, Love, Escape, and De-Stress — and help them relax wherever they are. Each non-greasy balm contains up to 25 essential oils and is formulated with a blend of moringa and moisturizing shea butter. 

A book that helps new moms who have endless questions

Cribsheet  A Data Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool

Gift “Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool,” $14.39

If they loved Emily Oster’s pregnancy book “Expecting Better,” they’ll dive right into “Cribsheet.” The “data-driven guide” helps new parents with sleep, potty training, and much more. 

A pair of embroidered makeup towels

weezie

Gift the Weezie Makeup Towels, $40

We’ve personally discovered Weezie’s makeup towels are unexpectedly useful, and so will they. Even if they aren’t washing off makeup, the fluffy fabric will feel great at the end of a long day. You can even have them embroidered to say “Mama” or a phrase of your choosing.

A nightlight that will help their baby – and in turn, them – sleep well

hatch night light

Gift the Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise, $59.99

Rest is a nightlight, sound machine, and wake-up alert that grows with children — from soft light and white noise for midnight newborn feeding sessions to a preschooler’s nightlight. Parents can customize everything — color, brightness, sound, and volume level — or they can choose from presets recommended by sleep experts. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 5 best pacifiers for your baby in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Nothing soothes a fussy baby quite like a pacifier, and some can even soothe a baby’s teething stages.
  • We’ve tested dozens of pacifiers to find the best ones you can buy for every scenario, price, and age range.
  • The MAM Perfect Pacifier is our top pick because it’s an inexpensive and cute soother that won’t disrupt tooth alignment.

A pacifier will get you out of a lot of jams as a parent, especially when the breast or the bottle is not on the menu. As the mother of a former pacifier-obsessed baby, I know my way around the market.

There are a host of positive findings of pacifier use, including their strong analgesic effects and correlation with a lower instance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). There are also many types of pacifiers available,  so you can choose the right size and shape for each stage of infant growth, greatly lessening any cause for orthodontic concerns

Since there are so many kinds of pacifiers available now, choosing the right one for each stage and circumstance of babyhood can be confusing, but we did the research, consulted the trusted sources, and tested over a dozen kinds on my daughter.

Here are the best pacifiers of 2021

The best pacifier overall

Best pacifiers for your baby in 2021

The MAM Perfect Pacifier helps to reduce the risk of tooth misalignment with its soothing shape designed from extra thin BPA/BPS-free silicone.

Pros: Orthodontist-recommended design, 60% smaller nipple size than the average, BPA/BPS-free silicone nipple, helps to prevent tooth misalignment with a symmetrical shape, air holes in shield allow baby’s skin to breathe, self-sterilizing case, 

Cons: The airflow design may leave a mark on extra chubby cheeks 

The MAM Perfect Pacifier comes in different sizes for babies: ages 0 to 6 months, 6 months and up, and 16-months plus. From the moment my daughter was 3 months old to the day she put her pacifier down for good, MAM pacifiers were her favorite.

I bought pacifiers in bulk as their small size were easily misplaced at home, daycare, or on the go., After trying well over a dozen brands throughout my daughter’s infancy and early toddlerhood, we returned to MAM.

The round, soft shape and subtly bumpy silicone texture closely mimics a breast and felt most familiar to my daughter. The texture also helped keep the point from falling out of her mouth while she wasn’t actively sucking. The pacifiers come inside a self-sterilizing storage case, too. My daughter used the MAM “original” pacifier. Recently, the company has come out with a brand-new “perfect” pacifier made from the same ultra-soft patented silicone (BPA- and BPS-free), which is now even thinner and softer. Though the new design’s air holes may leave a mark on chubbier cheeks, the breathable, realistically-detailed design is well apt for effective use.

The pacifier is also thinner and softer than regular silicone pacifiers meaning it stays comfortably nestled in your baby’s mouth without causing extra pressure. I picked one up to check out the new design for this article and will definitely be keeping it on hand for my next baby.

The best pacifier for newborns

pacifier for newborns

The Mary Meyer WubbaNub Pacifier is a two-in-one lifesaver: practical with its hospital-recommended design and playful with an affixed weighted plush animal, which keeps it from falling out.

Pros: Hospital-recommended design, added plush toy that prevents it from falling out, BPA- and PVC-free

Cons: Hard to disinfect, but machine washable

The Mary Meyer WubbaNub Pacifier pacifier is actually a two-for-one product. The inventor, momtrepreneur Carla Schneider, started with the hospital-recommended all-star newborn pacifier, the Philips Avent Soothie for newborns, and connected it with a wide variety of small bean-filled and adorable plush animals designed to rest on baby’s chest and keep the pacifier from falling out when babies fuss.

The struggle keeping a pacifier in my daughter’s mouth was real. Before my husband and I found the Wubbanub, we took turns popping the pacifier back in our sometimes-colicky tiny daughter’s mouth all night long. The Wubbanub isn’t a perfect solution for falling pacifiers, but the BPA- and PVC-free product is much better than the unweighted alternatives when you’re a desperate, sleep-deprived parent of a newborn.

One of the only drawbacks many parents discover is that the combination of a fabric plush with a silicone pacifier tip is rather hard to disinfect. Like WubbaNub recommends, I occasionally threw the whole thing in the washing machine and held just the silicone tip in boiling water as needed.

The best pacifier for toddlers

pacifier two pack

The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier has an orthodontic design that’s safe for toddlers who don’t want to give up their soother.

Pros: BPA-free symmetrical silicone shape

Cons: The design sometimes allows water to get trapped inside, may not stay put for babies younger than toddler age

The Tommee Tippee brand is a well-known maker of baby bottles that are built to resemble a breast, and their pacifiers follow the same design.

Instead of the round bulbous tip on the end like many pacifiers have, the Tommee Tippee “closer to nature” design is relatively larger at the tip, yet is symmetrical and narrows into the base This means that the shape and feel of the silicone are more like a real nipple. It won’t stay put in the baby’s mouth as well as brands that have a bulbous tip, but by the time your little one is a toddler, they can handle that part all on their own.

The best pacifier for teethers

pacifer for teething

The RaZbaby RaZ-Berry Silicone Teether is a hands-free, dual pacifier and a teething toy, thanks to its great texture.

Pros: Hands-free, safe design for sucking or teething, texture stimulates active sucking to help relieve teething pain

Cons: None to speak of

The RaZbaby RaZ-Berry Silicone Teether has a nipple shape similar to that of your average pacifier, but with a nubbier, bumpier texture that feels like a large silicone raspberry. Teething infants love the varied texture, which also stimulates their gums and helps them massage the areas where their teeth are beginning to poke through. None of the other options I tried, like the Molar Muncher Hands-Free Teether, were hands-free or interesting enough texturally to encourage active sucking to ease her teething woes.  

Naturally, the design of the Razbaby really shines. Because the shape and sucking function are very similar to a normal pacifier, my daughter could keep this in her mouth on her own and had plenty of opportunities to stimulate and soothe her gums. You can also stick it in the freezer for some cooling action on inflamed spots.

The double-duty capacity is great if you’re frequently on the go with the kids in tow, or if your child goes to daycare. Instead of packing or attaching both a pacifier and a teething toy to your teething baby’s shirt, you can make it all day with just one soothing object.

The best pacifier for late-night criers

pacifier glows in the dark

The MAM Glow-in-the-Dark Night Orthodontic Pacifier has an illuminated handle to help sleep-deprived parents (and babies) find the sucking piece without turning on the lights.

Pros: High-quality form and functionality that glows-in-the-dark for nighttime wakeups

Cons: Needs a very bright charge in order to glow all night

The Glow-in-the-Dark Night Orthodontic Pacifier is MAM’s popular orthodontic pacifier shape and design with a twist — all by adding a practical, glow-in-the-dark handle to help with those midnight wakeups. 

At first, I was worried that the glow so close to the baby’s face would keep her awake, but I never noticed any problems of that nature in actual usage. Other pacifier brands offer a glow-in-the-dark option, too. There’s the Philips Avent BPA Free Night Time Pacifier, which is affordable, but parents say that the glow-in-the-dark functionality barely works and runs out of charge very quickly. So, because of the good quality of the materials, the popular nature of the design, the widespread availability, and the good price, MAM is still the all-around best.

Though some have found it takes a very bright light to charge the MAM enough for it to really glow well all night, we still found that this brand glows better than other options. It comes in blue, pink, or green styles, and two different sizes for older or younger babies.

Check out our other baby gear guides

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24 best Valentine’s Day gift ideas for kids of all ages in 2021

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

primary
Primary’s rainbow heart pajama set is a comfy and cute Valentine’s gift for kids.

  • This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget the little ones in your life. 
  • You can’t go wrong with teddy bears or sweets, but if you’re looking to get a little more creative, we rounded up great Valentine’s Day gifts kids will love. 
  • Looking for more gift ideas for everyone in your life? Check out all of Insider Reviews’ Valentine’s Day gift ideas, including our favorite gifts for him and her.

You found the perfect gift for your partner – now it’s time to find something special for the little ones you love. As adults, we show the kids in our lives we love them every day with our kindness, support, and all that good stuff, but Valentine’s Day is a unique time to show your little ones you love them with some good old-fashioned gifting. 

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a newborn, a rambunctious toddler, or a clever elementary-schooler, we’ve got you covered. We rounded up 24 Valentine’s gifts ideas that are great for all kinds of kids – think books, crafts, and lots of sugary treats. 

Keep reading for 24 Valentine’s Day gifts that any kid will love:

An adorable new stuffed animal

llama

Lulu the Llama, available at Brooklinen, $38

Brooklinen’s aptly and adorably named baby line, Brooklittles, has everything you need to make the cutest nursery ever, including this soft and cuddly stuffed animal that your little one will love snuggling with. 

The cutest little mittens

mittens

Valentine Mittens with Heart, available at Etsy, from $31.50

These adorable mittens will keep their little hands toasty on cold days, plus the red heart adds a festive touch. There are sizes to fit babies, children, and even adults, so everyone can have a pair. 

A cute pair of knit loafers

rothys

Kids Loafer, available at Rothy’s, $65

Little kids will love getting to wear the same shoes as the big kids. Rothy’s are made out of recycled water bottles and are comfortable enough (and machine-washable) for all of their adventures. There are sneakers too if that’s more their style.

A super sugary treat

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B’Day Truffle Dozen Box, available at Milk Bar Store, $24

Is there anything kids love more than sugar? These dense, chewy, rainbow cake truffles are sure to satisfy their sweet tooth. 

A kinetic sand bakeshop

kinetic sand bake shoppe

Kinetic Sand Bake Shoppe Playset, available at Target, $9.59

This kinetic sand can be easily molded into all sorts of fun shapes. This set comes with some “baking tools” so they can make cookies and cupcakes to start. Sensory toys like kinetic sand are also great for soothing overstimulated kids.

A Disney+ subscription to watch their favorite movies

disney plus 4x3

Subscribe for $6.99/month or $69.99/year

Get unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here. And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.

A city they can build themselves

little architect stem toy

Arckit Play Little Architect, available at Maisonette, $69

With 130 pieces of all different shapes, kids can create the pastel-colored city of their dreams with this STEAM toy.

A festive pair of pajamas

primary
Primary’s rainbow heart pajama set is a comfy and cute Valentine’s gift for kids.

Rainbow Heart PJ Top, available at Primary, $16

Rainbow Heart PJ Pant, available at Primary, $16

Any kid will love getting these cozy pajamas with a festive twist in the form of lots and lots of colorful hearts. 

A heartfelt book you’ve filled out

love book, $10

“What I Love About You by Me” Book, available at Barnes & Noble, $9.95

Give your kid a book filled with all of the reasons you love and appreciate them. They can look back on it whenever they need a little reminder that they’re awesome. 

A fuzzy, decorative pillow

heart pillow

Heart Faux Fur & Velvet Throw Pillow, available at Target, $16.99

Show your kids you “heart” them with this heart-shaped decorative pillow that adds a warm and fuzzy touch to their bed. 

A rainbow silk streamer

sarahs silks waldorf streamer

Sarah’s Silks Rainbow Silk Streamer, available at Amazon, $12.95

Kids love using their imaginations, which makes something as simple as a rainbow silk a great gift. Whether they use it for twirling, dancing, or playing dress-up, they’ll have fun getting creative with it.

A festive and funny book

junie b jones

“Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime” by Barbara Park, available at Amazon, $4.24

Junie B. Jones is an iconic and hilarious Kindergartner that kids love. Little ones have been reading her series for over 25 years! Any tiny bookworm will love working on their reading skills with this funny story about Junie B. Jones navigating “Valentime’s Day”.

A rainbow scratch-off note pad

melissa and doug scratch pad

Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Box of Rainbow Mini Notes, available at Amazon, $8.99

A note pad doesn’t seem all that exciting, unless you give them this one. Once they scratch off the black coating, a bright rainbow pattern will be revealed. They can use it to write notes or just create fun drawings. 

Crayons that are customized with their name

crayons

Personalized Rainbow Name Crayons, available at Etsy, from $19.95

Show your love for a young artist in your life with a personalized gift. Coloring gets a lot more fun with these giant rainbow crayons that spell out their name. 

A challenging LEGO set

Legos ideas ship $61.75

LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle, available at Amazon, $85.43

This LEGO set is a challenging and fun way for kids to work on their building and problem-solving skills. 

An inspiring poster

heros

Heroic Girls in Books Poster, available at Uncommon Goods, $29

Inspire your kids, no matter their gender, with this cute poster, featuring 100 inspiring women characters from great books. 

A heart-shaped teether

chewbeads heart shaped teether

Chewbeads Brooklyn Teether, available at Amazon, $14.50

On theme for Valentine’s Day, this teether — which features silicone and wood parts — can be attached to strollers and car seats so babies are distracted from the discomfort of teething.

A snuggly teddy that turns into a hoodie

cubcoats

Cubcoats hoodies, available at Cubcoats, from $35

What looks like an adorable stuffed animal at first glance can be rolled out into a full-sized, fuzzy hoodie. Kids will be so excited when they realize they can take their favorite snuggly toy with them everywhere they go. 

Read our full review here.

A singing pillow inspired by a viral song

baby shark

WowWee Baby Shark Official Song Cube, available at Amazon, $12.99

Kids are constantly singing a song about baby sharks — we don’t know why, but it seems like they’re really into it. Give them this plush cube that sings four different versions of “Baby Shark” so they can listen to the viral song all the time.

A playset for an aspiring baker

melissa doug slice bake cookie set

Melissa and Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Set, available at Target and Walmart, from $15.79

Start little bakers off with a wooden slice and bake cookie set. They can use the knife to slice through the cookie “tube” and mix and match the icing toppings. 

Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A craft kit for making sweet cards

Valentines Day Craft Kit Amazon

Kid Made Modern Valentines Craft Kit, available at Amazon and Maisonette, from $16.99

Make home decorations or little love notes with these art supplies, from gel pens to metallic paper and more. The popsicle sticks and felt hearts are perfect for handmade valentines, but the crafting can continue long after February 14.

Recommended ages: 6 years and up

A tee to spell out how you feel

alphabet_heart herwholeheart etsy

ABC I Love You Shirt, available at Etsy, $21.94

This love-themed baseball tee is sweet and neutral enough to wear year round. Stick with red and white, or choose from a variety of color combinations.

Available sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL

A colorful slime pack

Elmer_s_Glue_20_Count_Slime Amazon

Elmer’s 20 Count Mini Premade Slime Party Pack, available at Amazon, Target, and Walmart, from $14.99

For a slime super-fan, nothing says love like 20 jars of premade slime. Each slime comes with a set of mix-ins for even more gooey fun. 

Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A toy full of surprises

Two Pack_Mini Brands_Surprise_Balls Amazon

Zuru Mini Brands Double Pack, available at Amazon, $13.99

Surprise them with Mini Brands and let the unboxing joy begin. Plus, in this two-pack, collectors have double the chances to find a rare gold or glow-in-the-dark Mini Brand.

Recommended ages: 3 years and up

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