Fresh Press, cool cards with bold backs

I recently got thank-you-cards printed at Fresh Press. They are of the Later Gator range, and they are very cool! Love the green alligator, and love the funky red/green back, which is very refreshing. All Fresh Press cards have the signature patterned back, which gives the cards that special distinction… I also had address labels printed, and some note-cards and calling cards. All from the same range, all very cool.
Together with my order, Fresh Press sent me a sample pack and these delightful birth announcements were part of it. I think they are just adorable. They’re printed on beautiful linen paper and have that classic yet contemporary look that I love. If you’re expecting a baby and are looking for the cutest birth announcement — you should surely consider these!  Personalising your cards is extremely simple at the Fresh Press website, but if you still have questions the people behind Fresh Press are really super kind and attentive!

xxx Esther

Angel Dear Blankets

My little girl has an addiction — to a soft little blanket in the shape of a rabbit. Courtney actually got it for her when she was born and two years on, she is still addicted to it. I am not sure if it is the material, the shape or the size, but there is something about this little Angel Dear soft blanket rabbit that she absolutely loves. To be fair, in Paris, kids are encouraged to have a special soft toy or blanket  (‘doudous’) to bring with them to nursery.

The problem with the Angel Dear blanket is that it is only available in the US and I am not the most organised person in the world — we are now on blanket number 7. I finally have two spare ones, courtesy of my lovely friend Petra who sent them all the way over from Miami.

The moral of the story is: Make sure your child gets addicted to a doudou that is easily available in your country, so you can replace it without too much trouble if it gets lost. If not, it is a huge pain. If you are, however, in the USA, do check out the Angel Dear collection. They are a lovely baby shower/birth present. They even have a two and a spare pack which I think is a genius idea.

– Emilie

Non-toxic baby teethers

I’ve already professed my love for Sophie the Giraffe — I think it is my all-time favourite baby toy because it’s easy for babies to hold, non-toxic to chew on, it squeaks when you squeeze it, and it’s cute.  However, when my daughter was born she received the Gnon teether, handmade in France by the famous Sophie creators, and I must say it outdid Sophie in the popularity contest. I think it’s the cute, round eyes and that little handle to hold/chew on. And like Sophie, it also squeaks when you squeeze it.

Both teethers are available in the UK from VUP Baby, a fantastic webshop specializing in non-toxic baby products… from baby bottles and sippy cups to toys and accessories.

-Courtney

The Ergococoon

Are you one of those slightly neurotic mothers (I include myself here) who creep out of their beds to double check their partner’s baby-wrapping techniques or sometimes just lay awake in the middle of the night obsessing over whether the baby is properly wrapped — not too tight, not too loose, not too high, not too low? Then this one is especially good for you! As an alternative to the traditional swaddle, this Australian creation by Ergopouch is nothing short of genius. The ErgoCocoon is a simple contraption which certainly would have given me peace of mind in those early baby days.

Made of stretch organic cotton, the Ergococoon gives your baby the security of feeling snug, but without strapping your baby’s arms down the way that a traditional wrap does. So whilst the baby can’t get his/her arms out, they are still able to move their arms around if they wish — but they are still protected from the startle reflex.  At the bottom of the wrap, there is an open end which allows you to transfer your baby into a car or pram and also allows access to the nappy area without having to unwrap your baby. And, with poppers in the arms, the Ergococoon readily converts into a sleeping bag for when the time is right! Practical and simple!

Available world-wide, for stockists please click here.

-Sara

Win! A Newborn Essential Package from Paige Lauren!

As I’m sitting here writing this, my baby is wearing her long sleeve romper from Paige Lauren… and I can tell you — it is SOFT. It must be the softest baby jersey I’ve ever touched in my life!

Paige Lauren is a young LA designer who started producing baby clothes because she was frustrated in her search for simple, classic baby clothes for her friends. In the LA boutiques she visited she was unable to find garments without the ever-present design gimmicks or pop-culture-kitsch. Before long she had started her own line of super simple, assuredly luxurious baby clothes. And, again, with the highest degree of softness on the market!

Feeling is believing… which is great news for one lucky Babyccino reader! Paige Lauren is giving away a collection of newborn items (value worth more than $150!). The give-away includes: one classic long-sleeve tee, a sleeveless bodysuit, a jersey romper with feet, a jersey cap, a classic footie pant, and a long-sleeve bodysuit. How fantastic is that?!

Just leave a comment below by next Friday, June 4th, and we’ll pick one winner at random.  Good luck!

xxx Esther

P.S. Congrats to Jessica in London who won our last give-away: The Priti nail polish set from Shak-Shuka.

Baby Massage

When my first daughter was a tiny, little newborn, there was only one thing that got me out of bed for 9:00 in the morning, sleep-deprived and all. It was the baby massage classes in my local town hall in London. I started them when my little girl was about 2 weeks old and it was a great experience both for her and me.  She really relaxed during the sessions and, after I got the hang of it and started massaging her on a daily basis at home, she started associating it bed time. It became a nightly ritual for us, and I do think it played a role in her becoming a good sleeper.

For me the baby massage classes were a life-line to meeting other mums in my neighbourhood. We were all in the same boot — we had been working on our careers and suddenly were discovering a completely new way of life, and it was great to hang out with other woman who were going through a similar experience.

Baby Massage ateliers are popping up all around Paris now. I know of some at Mum and Babe and at the Bonton flag shop, though I have not personally tested them. I am pretty sure you can find them in most cities now –I cannot recommend baby massage highly enough.

– Emilie

I am a Bunny

I still have my original copy of Richard Scarry’s I Am a Bunny with my name and birth date written inside. My mom gave it to me when I was a baby, and it is one of the books I remember so vividly from my childhood. It is a sweet little story about a little bunny named Nicholas in all the different seasons, and the illustrations are just darling. In fact, I recently spotted this photo on Flickr and I think it’s such a brilliant idea to frame the pages of the book. So cute for your baby’s room. You can buy the book from our bookshop (UK and US).

-Courtney

Sugar Coated Almonds

There is a very old tradition here in France to offer sugar-coated almonds — known as dragées — when a child is born. They are actually traditionally given out at baptism, but as there are not that many baptisms around anymore, I think it is a great tradition to carry on to celebrate the arrival of a new little person.

When I was born dragées only existed in pink and blue and white. My mother searched the whole of France for some green ones (she had a very May 68  approach to colour type casting of genders, which did not mix very well with something so traditional as dragéés). The tradition goes back as far as the 12th century when an apocathery figured out that almonds lasted longer if sealed in a coat of sugar. Almonds were reputed to combat sterility — hence the tradition of offering them to celebrate a baby. (more…)

Capturing your baby’s hands and feet

I know it seems like that new baby phase (i.e. sleepless nights, spit-up on every shirt you own, messy house, baby brain, etc.) drags on and on… But I swear, you blink your eyes and then that baby is an active toddler. Babies just grow so, so quickly.  Which is why I love the idea of capturing their tiny little feet… because they’ll never be that small again. Image Casting is a London-based company which creates the most beautiful bronze and silver casts of your baby’s hands and feet.  I got my daughter’s feet casted when she was a baby, and I now have her little feet sitting on my desk… a daily reminder of how tiny she once was (memories of her baby-hood only cheery, of course)!

In addition to their beautiful casts, Image Casting does a really nice job of framing the pieces. Simple but beautiful, with emphasis on the casts. You can pop into their London Bridge studio, or the team will come out to your house if you live within the M25 in London (home visit included in the price). Check their website for more details.

-Courtney

Sweet for Baby: Super soft, stripy Mini McGee blanket

I LOVE these stripy baby blankets from Mini McGee! They look so modern with the fresh colours and the stripy pattern… But at the same time they’re very sweet, and truly extremely soft (I actually first thought they were made of cashmere, but in fact it’s 100% super soft lambswool. Oh, what do I know?!).

They’re the perfect size for the car seat, or pushchair, or crib. Nice, don’t you think?

Available through Peace & Jam or Velvet Boutique

xxx Esther

Gittabags

I was never really into the diaper bag thing. I think that the litany of awful maternity bags out there screaming ‘I am an unsightly post-partum bag’ with very little in the style-stakes really ruined it for me.  Instead I opted to use one of my larger handbags, although I never found them particularly practical — mainly for want of a milkproof lining. Yes…sigh…regrettably I ruined a couple of my beloved bags (consider this a warning for those entertaining the very idea — milk spillage, inside bag, ruins bag). But, maternity bags have come a long way and if I had my time again I think the Gittabag would be a strong contender. In terms of practicality, it ticks all the boxes and then some and there is a design and color combo to suit almost everyone.

These diaper bags run the gamut from small backpack to medium and large messenger bags and even a handy tool-belt style kit for your waist. The colors are bright but neither too baby nor too feminine. The bags are of very high quality materials, meticulously sewn and machine washable with so many nooks and crannies that it is impossible to mention them all. But the standout feature is the ‘Activefold‘, a patent pending foldout, collapsible activity bar. (more…)

Serena and Lily Moses Basket

Serena and Lily have always been known for their beautiful and luxurious sheeting. I splurged and purchased a set of their crib sheets a few years ago and I will say, they have held up longer than any of the others that I bought and still look next to new.  I recently spotted this beautiful Moses Basket in their catalogue and while I realize that the shelf life on it is fleeting – I just love the idea of having one for a newborn. What I especially like about this one is that it is pretty enough to hold on to for years to come — I thought it could serve as a nice storage basket for toys or stuffed animals.   Do check out their crib sheet sets though — beautiful!

-Dina

Celebrating all things BABY!

Following the birth of Esther’s beautiful baby girl last week, we have all suddenly gotten in the baby mood! It’s spring, after all, and it seems babies are everywhere… even I’m starting to get broody (okay, not really… but nearly!). Anyway, we’re dedicating this week to all things baby-related, including some of the best new baby products, some fun little baby traditions, and other baby inspired topics. We hope you’ll enjoy! And please do share with us your must-have baby products, tips, ideas, etc.

P.S. The photo on the left is from Dick Bruna’s Miffy and the New Baby — a cute little book about a new baby arrival.

-Courtney