Like me, you're a newish mom or dad to a drooly, diapered darling who keeps your hands and hips full 24/7. And, although your days are spent carrying and cleaning your wobbly wonder, you still want to know what's chic and cool. That's where CosmoTot comes in. Find reviews on the latest in trendy baby fashions, retro toys and vintage gear for infants 0-12 months.
When dada takes over baba-tending and bum-wiping duty, Pilar delights in learning at the chubby feet of her own original cosmotot, William, who regularly impresses on her that drool truly is the nectar of knowledge. All three call Clarendon Hills home. E-mail Pilar at email@example.com.
Moms and props
Chicago weather is no match for the Popover from Beebles, LLC. Designed by New York mom and self-proclaimed Baby Bjorn addict Jackie Haberfeld, the Popover keeps baby warm while being carried in a front carrier, car seat or stroller. Its thick Polartec fleece eliminates the need for bulky snowsuits or other outerwear-foldover mitten cuffs and a reversible hood help-and it provides lightweight water- and wind-resistance, too. My son wore it outside to study the snowflakes, and long after our toes froze he was still warm and dry. Available in six colors online (and at three Chicago-area locations), the Popover is machine washable and won't pill or shrink.
My baby loves his binkie. We keep it close with the Bunny Haba Pacifier Clip from Moolka. My son loves to twirl the bunny's wooden feet. www.moolka.com, $12
Fifty percent of heat is lost through the head, and for babies who sport the cueball look, that makes for one icy noggin. Doodlebaby, founded by mom Renata Tatman, offers handcrafted French-style berets to keep mini melons toasty. Traditionalists will love that these semi-stretchy fleece hats come in conventional designs-the black beret is Tatman's best seller, but I like that they also come in quirky designs like the Breakfast Beret, which features a sunny-side-up "egg" with a bacon brim. You can bet my baby looks better than a farm-fresh breakfast.
Bonus: The fleece is made from recycled plastic bottles, so it's beneficial for baby and the environment.
Mind the gap
Spring has sprung, and although the snowman in my front yard is melting into a snow suppository, this isn't called the Windy City for nothing. I struggle to keep my baby's skin safe from the elements, especially since he wriggles like a worm on a hook. BabyLegs, where have you been for the past six months! Mom Nicole Donnelly devised these mod-non-80's-flashback leg warmers to combat what she calls "gapiosis"-the space between sock and pant cuff. I love the soft fabrics and trendy patterns like Anemone and Chipotle. Made from 80 percent cotton, 15 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex, BabyLegs are machine washable and can be used to warm baby's arms, too.
Tip: Tuck them into a lingerie bag to avoid pilling in the wash.
My baby is a bathtime Houdini. He adores the tub, but trying to climb out is apparently much more thrilling. Had I found The Coocoose-a bathing apron created by two English mums-sooner, I could have saved myself some soapy scares. Available at Baby Dagny, brainchild of mom and former Chicagoan Andrea McGinty, the Turkish cotton creation fastens around your neck and back.
Afterward, my sweet-smelling boy loves being wrapped up in Mullins Square Kids Pony Plush Hooded Tubbie from Lollipop Kisses. Its generous size keeps my cuddly cowpoke cozy top-to-toe post-bath, and I love that the hood actually stays on his head.
Rock & roll
The ride-on Wheely Bee from Baby Dagny lets my busy bug roll forward, backward and even sideways without crunching my toes. Made from a padded sponge covered with faux leather, it's simplicity at its finest. My son loves diddling the wiggly antennae.
With our bohemian-style nursery, a traditional horse rocker is out of the question. Lollipop Kisses carries heirloom-quality rockAbye rockers that are the niftiest versions I've seen, and my son rocks playtime with his soft-seated creatures. Kids will love the whimsical musical sounds that come from Danny Dinosaur, Elijah Elephant, Little Bo Sheep and Luc Leafwalker.
I'm all for foodie pet names and my baby hears his fair share of "cookie" and "sweetie pie." Artsy mom Karry Brook, creator of Wee Wee Wear's edgy, hand-silkscreened designs makes those monikers sound much more macho with playful sayings like, "Took My Mama Nine Months To Bake Me" and "Mama's Little Muffin." Available in long/short sleeve onesies, infant lap and crewneck tees.
Find more food for thought at Lollipop Kisses where Stephanie Dubner, owner, offers a sprinkly and totally yummy terry cloth "My First Birthday" pullover bib by Mullins Square Kids. The "candle" is the best part. It's really a removable washcloth suitable for wiping cake smears from baby's ears.