Summer's ending, and it's time for tots to trade in tanks for long-sleeved tees and bucket hats for blankets. Cosmotot reviewed the latest and greatest fall/winter gear for infants and toddlers 0-12 months, presented here in the first Cosmotot Holiday Guide. Meant to make your holiday shopping happy instead of hellacious, you'll find a wealth of unique gift ideas for the whole family.
For more on the fabulous finds featured, visit Cosmotot's blog at www.chicagoparent.com
• Kinderware, www.kinderwareonline.com, Baby Love Sock Set ($22)
• BabyLegs, www.babylegs.net, NEW Jolly Jack and O Canada Lite designs ($12-$36)
• ebeanstalk, www.ebeanstalk.com, Dancing Alligator Pull Toy ($20), Spotty the Dog Pull Toy ($30)
• Flying Peas, www.flyingpeas.com, Fluffy Dragon ($19)
Cosmotot coupon codes
• ebeanstalk: Use the promo code chicagobaby for 10 percent off any GIFT SERIES
• Sally Davies Photo: Onesies are $24 when you mention promo code PILAR
For your teeny
Eco-conscious trendy clothes are hot, but trying to find them in one place is not. Save yourself the trouble and look to these glorious ensemble emporiums for everything from artsy tees to sweet knits and more.
Crib Rock Couture's (www.cribrockcouture.com) musically inspired tees mix the rock tee concept with Mother Goose. I dig the "Cat & the Fiddle: Jumping the Moon Tour" style ($37). For edgier looks, Rock'n Sprouts' (www.rocknsprouts.com) Miso Cute lap tee ($21.99) will give little gals an edge. For something truly artsy, check out Sally Davies Photo (www.veryexcellentbaby.com). Her Wisenheimer line showcases NYC's most popular tourist attractions. Cosmotot pick: Greek Coffee Cup Baby Bottle style ($28).
For light-hearted wordplay and witticisms, My Goodness Duds' (www.mygoodnessduds.com) organic clothes are outfit staples-the Thanksgiving set with "Who You Calling Turkey" on the chest and "leftovers" printed on the bottoms is giggle-worthy ($37). Blirt (www.blirtshirt.com) is the most original fledgling company I've come across with wild, 100 percent organic tees. Cosmotot picks: "No Shrinking Violet" and "A Real Ham" designs ($32).
Traditionalists will adore Chicago company Hand Picked Pumpkin's (www.handpickedpumpkin.com) tailored, distinctive styles. Customize everything from knot hats ($22) to reversible hoodies ($64).
Vintage lovers will treasure NannyGram's (www.nannygram.com) Irish-inspired, heirloom quality baby knits. Each gift arrives ready for giving ($24-$98).
For the menfolk
Don't forget about Dad this year-after all, he's the other half of that cutie drooling on your shoulder. Instead of gifting him with the same old tie-and-hankie combo, give the man something he can really use, like DadGear's Diaper Vest (www.dadgear.com), a twist on the traditional diaper bag. Instead of carrying it, Dad wears it, combined with thoughtful touches like strategically placed pockets that allow for baby-care essentials and Dad's essentials, too ($82).
See Kai Run's (www.seekairun.com) shoes have me solestruck, especially with their gorgeous Ralph kicks for boys ($40) and Hailey T-straps for girls ($40). Swedish shoemaker Vincent's (www.vincentshoestore.us) collection of chic pre-walkers and walkers is equally yummy, and each pair is modeled after the latest global trends and runway fashions. Cosmotot's picks: Mini tennis, Smith trainers, Vincent and H20 rain boots and trendy Konrad snow boots ($20). Relative newcomer Livie and Luca's (www.livieandluca.com) whimsical creations pairs leathers with mod touches for their funky shoes. I love their unique Veggie Boots and Elephant T-Strap shoes ($35).
I heart Robeez (www.robeez.com) shoes. Their Booties are perfect for Windy City winters ($37). Pediped's (www.pediped.com) collection is somewhere between a pre-walker and a walker and offers the best selection of easy-to-wear dressy styles. Cosmotot favs: Caroline Mary Janes and Charlie Loafers ($29).
For your bathing
The Flo Water Deflector ($14.99) from Mom4Life (www.mom4life.com) keeps tub-bound tikes tear-free by creating a gentle waterfall while providing a protective faucet cover. It attaches easily to the bathtub faucet with a spring-activated grip that requires no assembly or special installation. To keep your pruny peanut smelling sweet, Noodle & Boo (www.noodleandboo.com) offers a line that takes a holistic approach to personal care-no dehydrating detergents or irritating surfactants. The company's French-milled Baby Soap is a bestseller and comes engraved with "nudie cutie" on one side ($12).
Keepsakes and I are like oil and water-we don't mix … or so I thought. Barrington-based Meadow Hill Co. (www.thumbies.com) changed my mind. Thumbies are an exact replica of your child's finger- or footprint on a beautiful 14k white gold, yellow gold or sterling silver pendant, incorporating customizable touches like gemstones and engraving.
For the fashion-meets-function type, a marvelous Black & Tan Parisian Wallpaper travel bag from Give Simple (www.givesimple.com) is in order. It's super roomy and made of easy-to-wipe nylon ($24). Gauzy tees from Pro Mom Couture (www.promomcouture.com) are another great choice-the Peace & Love Forever Mom and Metropolitan Mom Chocolate tees ($38) are fab. And, if you have a knack for finding the humor in life, the selection at Before Kids (www.beforekids.com) is priceless. Their designs reflect on life, "Before Kids, I drank decaf," printed on mugs, tees and stationery ($8-$30).
For your Rip Van
Cuddle up in Admiral Road's (www.admiralroad.com) personalized Giraffe Blanket this fall. The tangerine color is fab and unexpected and the whimsical appliquéd giraffe is, too ($59). Pick up Two Tinas' Disco Dot Monogrammed Blanket from My Retro Baby (www.myretrobaby.com). It's minky, slinky and stroller sized ($48). Cloud b (www.cloudb.com) offers a sandman's bag full of tricks, like its award-winning Lavender Lab, Twilight Turtle, and Cosmotot's pick, the Sleep Sheep. It's like a hands-free audio pacifier. ($22-$27).
Maria Pilar Clark has learned much from her 16-month-old son William. One is that boys are simply loud noises with dirt on them (daddies included). And two, that there's just as much fun to be found in a pricey toy as there is in the cardboard box it came in. The Clarks are taking the time to notice the little things their little one loves in Lisle. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.