Friday, October 14, 2011

Insurance Institute Rates Booster Seats

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released its evaluation of 62 booster seats for kids ages 4 to 8, naming a record 31 seats “Best Bets.” Retailers and buyers will want to keep this information in mind when making booster seat purchases.

The “Best Bet” boosters, which included the EvenFlo Symphony 65 e3 and the Recaro ProBOOSTER, were those that achieved the best seat belt fit. This means that the shoulder belt stretched directly across the shoulder and the lap belt laid flat against the thighs, rather than against the abdomen.

Retailers should also know that the IIHS tested every function of each booster seat. This means models might have received two different ratings for each function. For example, the Cosco Pronto is a best bet when used in the highback mode, but the IIHS recommends that the fit be checked when it is used as a backless booster.

Check out the full press release, the report and access links to video and more information, here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Checking In With: Angel Dear

In the second part of our series, Baby & Kids checks in with Angel Dear, which specializes in producing gift items for infants.

Baby & Kids: What’s the history behind Angel Dear? What’s the goal/mission of the company?

Kimberly Perrin: Angel Dear has been providing unique gifts for babies for the past decade. We started with our now famous blankie, which had become a staple. It’s the go-to product for a newborn gift.

B&K: How can gift retailers start branching out to include juvenile products? Why is it important for them to do so?
KP: Even in a down market, people will always buy a gift for a baby. It makes good business sense for gift stores to include infant gift products. Along with our blankies, rattles and pillows, we sell newborn gift sets that include a gown/hat and an accessory packaged in an adorable gift ready, reusable box. It’s perfect for baby showers.

B&K: What trends are you seeing in the realm of children’s gifts?
KP: Angel Dear focuses on infants. We stay true to what’s best and beautiful for baby, avoiding flash-in-the-pan trends. I would characterize Angel Dear products as modern heirlooms.

B&K: What products/categories are you working on for the future?
KP: We are always adding new product, such as our recent addition of Monster Blankies and Sweater Knit Cotton Stuffies.

Image courtesy Angel Dear.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Checking In With: Baby Aspen

This week, Baby & Kids takes a fresh look at some of the industry's leading producers of toys and juvenile products. We spoke with Donna Laurent, director of brand development, to learn the latest happenings at Baby Aspen.

Baby & Kids
: What’s the history behind Baby Aspen? What’s the goal/mission of the company?

Donna Laurent: Baby Aspen was founded in 2007 as the sister company of Kate Aspen, known for gift-ready, beautifully packaged, practical wedding and baby shower favors. Using that same premise through the Baby Aspen line, we seek to bring to the market unique baby gifts that are packaged in a clever, unique way, are gift-ready and at a moderate price point, or as we like to say “boutique look, priced right.” We now feature more than 45 SKUs, ranging from adorable socks to bathrobes, layettes, plush and blankets.

B&K: How can gift retailers start branching out to include juvenile products? Why is it important for them to do so?

DL: We keep our minimums extremely low, which allows gift retailers considering adding baby gift to their assortment the perfect means to take that first step. We also lower the risk with products that are proven sellers both online and in-store and with price points starting at $6 wholesale.

The potential for gift retailers to grow with this market is significant, especially considering their already-captured female audience. Add to that the fact that these consumers are specifically seeking gifts, and you’ve got the perfect condition for sales. The baby gift market has a broad appeal, taking the “is it too personal?” question out of the buying decision. Gifts that are universally appealing and can deliver a “wow” factor provide more purchasing power for a wide range of ages and gift-giving occasions.

B&K: What new products/categories are you working on for the future?

DL: We will continue our focus on quality products delivered in creative ways, allowing the packaging to shine almost as much as the product itself. Now that we’ve established more depth in our collection, we are looking to expand themes and SKU types in the mid-level price range, including our snuggle sacks, bath and plush and lovie gift sets.

Image courtesy Baby Aspen.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting to Know The Cribsie Awards

It's a great time to be a parent. The rise of mommy bloggers and the increasing role of social media has lead to a more informed, opinionated generation of new parents. But sifting through all of the information on the web can get a bit tedious, so Elina Furman and Tara Mandy decided to help out. The two partnered to create The Cribsie Awards, which rewards the most popular juvenile products on the market for discerning moms and dads. Baby & Kids chatted with Elina Furman and got the inside scoop on the Cribsie Awards.

Baby & Kids: Tell us about the Cribsie Awards. How did they get started?
Elina Furman: The Cribsie Awards started as a partnership between and Tara Mandy and I are founders of the two sites, which cater to an urban mom audience and deliver timely news about products, services and information in a concise e-mail format. Having gained traction as two of the leading media properties for moms, we noticed a gap in the market for a definitive and editorial awards program for the baby industry.

In our work, we frequently create "best of" products and website lists. With so many baby products, moms need accurate and timely information to decide which ones are the best investment. Due to their popularity of these lists, we decided to continue this work with a formal awards program. The first annual Cribsie Awards were sponsored by

The mission of the Cribsie Awards is to create a secure forum for opinionated moms to elect their favorite brands and services from a curated list of best-of-the-best finalists across six categories (toys, mealtime, nursery, fashion, web, gear).

B&K: How does the voting process work?
EF: The Cribsie Awards were launched with a nominations period, wherein the public was asked to nominate their top brands for babies and tots. After an overwhelmingly successful nomination period with more than 4,000 brands in the
baby industry nominated by their fans, the editors of A-List Mom and StrollerTraffic along with industry experts hand-
selected the 344 best products, brands, services, and websites for babies and tots. The final voting period opened to the public and was limited to one vote per user, per award. The voting lasted four-weeks and garnered more than 135,000 votes. Sixty winners were selected based on the total number of votes per award.

B&K: What part does social media and the rise of mommy bloggers play in the Cribsie Awards?
EF: Social media played a big part in the immense success of the first annual Cribsie Awards. There were thousands of Facebook posts and Tweets from brands and their fans resulting in more than 134,000 votes. We also made sure to honor the public's favorite blogs and sites with the web category. Many leading blogs and websites were nominated and honored in the awards.

B&K: In what direction are the Cribsies headed?
EF: We have big plans for the 2012 Cribsie Awards. By creating the "best of" list and displaying the winners on the Cribsie Awards site, we have received amazing feedback from voters who are using the site to create their own registries and shop for products. Having been compiled by editors and the public, the site has quickly become the definitive go-to guide for moms making purchasing decisions.

Click here to visit the 2011 Cribsie Award winners.

Image courtesy The Cribsie Awards.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The April Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

Dear GGD Reader,

Welcome to the April digital issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor Magazine.

GGD April Cover
This Month's Featured Content:
• Paper Power
• Season Greetings
• Paw Prints
• Baby Lookbook

• Top it Off
• Honeysuckle
• Calendar

New Feature:
Now Viewable on Ipads

Please Note:

GGD Digital requires NO special downloads or applications to view in its entirety.

Please click HERE to begin reading now!

We hope you enjoy this issue and all future digital issues of GGD. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback at

The GGD Team

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Review: Senario

As kids, the Baby & Kids staff was more into dolls and dress-up than anything robotic. Now that we're adults — and learning about new toys is part of our job — we've found ourselves drawn to the types of toys that our 5-year-old selves would've sneered at and given to our smelly little brothers. So when a package bearing a Zibit came to our office, we were intrigued.

The Zibit, manufactured by toy company Senario, is a little robot that comes with its own remote control to move the bot around. Each robot has its own name and backstory, and the Zibits are meant to be collectibles. Ours was Dinc, known throughout the Zibits world as a clumsy day-dreamer. Dinc can zoom around while making squeaky robotic sounds and lighting up at random. We can definitely see the appeal in collecting several robots; each robot's backstory and personality quirks are certain to pique a child's imagination.

Our favorite feature of the Zibit perhaps reflects our girly childhoods, but one of the best things about each Zibit is how gender neutral they are. We found that ours is pretty cute — much cuter than most robot toys — and his assigned personality makes him appeal toward the girl set. Dinc is also fun and tech-y for boys. Plus, it's a robot, you can't get much more boy-ish than that. Collectible toys are always a great gift idea, and these robots could be given to any child with a penchant for robotics and imaginative play.

Photo courtesy Zibits.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

From the Show Floor: Playtime New York

The second edition of Playtime New York, held March 5-7 in New York City, brought together exhibitors, buyers, media and industry representatives to collaborate among the newest products in the juvenile industry. This year's show saw a 14-percent increase in the number of participants and a 25-percent increase in the number of visitors.

Didn't make it to the show? Check out these photos from the event, and plan your trip for the summer edition of Playtime New York, taking place July 30-August 1.

Photos courtesy Playtime New York.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The March Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

Dear GGD Reader,

Welcome to the March digital issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor Magazine.

GGD March Cover
This Month's Featured Content:
• Zen-spirational
• Dear Ol' Dad
• Time for Tabletop
• Garden State

• Natural Designs
• Shelftalk
• Calendar

New Feature:
Enchanced Page Zooming Feature Now Available-Zooming is now easier then ever!

Please Note:

GGD Digital requires NO special downloads or applications to view in its entirety.

Please click HERE to begin reading now!

We hope you enjoy this issue and all future digital issues of GGD. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback at

The GGD Team

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Review: Tutu Pour Mon Deux

Tutus are all over the place, but we were surprised when Tutu Pour Mon Deux sent us one of their tutu shirts. The shirts aren't your average pink, frilly, over-the-top tutu. These tutus could be a part of a child's actual wardrobe; they might not be school-appropriate, but with a cute pair of contrasting tights, they're adorable for family get-togethers, birthday parties or playdates.

The tutus are attached to a tank top (ours had a cupcake embellished on it) or a long-sleeved shirt. Parents can choose the color of the shirt, embellishment, tutu color and coordinating ribbon. Even sweeter than the outfits is the story of the owner, Erika, whose daughters, one born with a congenital heart defect, inspired her to create the shirts and give back to the community. Tutu Pour Mon Deux gives one-third of its proceeds to Children's Hospital Boston.

If you've got a girly-girl that won't change out of her make-believe princess dress, tutu shirts are an easy compromise. And really, who can resist a little girl in a tutu?

Photo courtesy Tutu Pour Mon Deux

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Words with Retailers: Green Genes

We took a moment to get to know Green Genes, an eco-friendly retailer with products ranging from organic baby clothes to cloth diapers, wooden toys, books and more. Even cuter than the items Green Genes carries is the Chicago-based storefront, which was designed using sustainable bamboo and low-VOC paints.

Baby & Kids: What's the mission of Green Genes?

Heather Muestermann, co-owner: Our mission encompasses many things, but overall, we hope to help consumers realize that every small change can add up to make a larger difference in the big environmental picture. We have many people who come to us seeking answers, and we embrace the opportunity to help educate whenever we are able to do so. Our customers are eager to learn about things like organic cotton, BPA and why it should be avoided, reducing their use of excess bags and food containers as well the importance of buying locally and sustainably made products. We hope that if babies and kids are exposed to this information early on that making eco-friendly choices will become second-nature. And honestly, we love providing fun, fashionable and useful items that just happen to help make the world a bit greener!

B&K: What's the story behind founding the company? Have you been involved in the youth retail industry before?

HM: Over the years, I've spent a fair amount of time in the land of retail. My early jobs in high school and college breaks included plenty of time working retail at Disneyland. During graduate school, I was a personal shopper at FAO Schwarz toy store, and in between jobs that actually pertained to my career of art therapy, I managed a Baby and Kids GAP store, as well a local children's boutique. It became clear that the personal interaction and specialty customer service provided in a small boutique was very important to me. Combined with consistently expanding environmental choices at home, I realized I wanted to start my own business along with my partner, Tina. We wanted to be a one-stop-shop for many of the necessities as well as fun items that go along with kids and babies. The piece that sets Green Genes apart from other kids' stores is that all products are chosen with the bigger impact in mind — clothing is made from organic cotton, bamboo or other sustainable materials. Toys are typically wooden and locally or domestically made whenever possible. Since adults deserve green goodies, too, we also provide a selection of organic soaps, lotions, reusable totes, water bottles and paper goods.

B&K: What are a few of the bestsellers at Green Genes?

HM: We are definitely known for our whimsical, funky and sweet graphic onesies, and people come to us to see what's new in onesies. Additionally, people can't get enough of Sophie the giraffe, a natural rubber teething toy made the exact same way in France since 1961! Adults and kids alike have become huge fans of Green Genes' exclusive one-of-a-kind Sweater Dude and Friends line. Locally made, these toys are all hand-stitched using repurposed wool sweaters.

B&K: What are your plans for the future?

HM: Our brains are always going in a million different directions. We'd love a second location eventually, but that's still farther down the road. We are looking forward to our third birthday celebration April 2–3!

Photo courtesy Green Genes.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Friday Review: Modern-twist

Here at the Baby & Kids office, we receive our fair share of the newest and most innovative products in the juvenile industry. And what better way to share them with our readers than by reviewing them here on our blog? Welcome to our newest segment, Friday Reviews, where we share our thoughts and opinions on the latest products for little ones.

We've seen a lot of placemats in our time. Most are generally functional, plastic-coated mats in primary colors designed to keep Cheerios from sticking to your Pottery Barn dining table. But when the folks over at Modern-twist sent us one of their Kidz Placemats, we were intrigued.

The clear silicone-based, food-safe placemat is like a page from a coloring book; kids can color in the images with washable or dry-erase markers. The placemat comes packaged in a cute box with a set of markers, and parents can choose from several designs. We received the DwellStudio Animal Blocks placemat, which features a modern mix of shapes and animals that will certainly appeal to little ones. And the best part? The placemat washes off so your little mini-Mozart can start over at the next meal. Although rinsing the color off the placemat is definitely a job for Mom; we found that it took a bit of elbow grease to wipe away the color.

Eco-friendly parents will appreciate that the placemats are free of BPA, latex and other chemicals, and the whole kit can be repacked in its original box for easy transport. We imagine it would be a good diaper bag essential to keep baby entertained in a restaurant. However you use it, meal time is certain to get a lot more creative.

Photo courtesy Modern-twist.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The February Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

Dear GGD Reader,

Welcome to the February digital issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor Magazine.

GGD February Cover
This Month's Featured Content:
All Aglow
Mad about Mom
Home Safe Home
Gourmet Gift Guide

Luxury at Home
Wall Art

New Feature:
Enchanced Page Zooming Feature Now Available-Zooming is now easier then ever!

Please Note:

GGD Digital requires NO special downloads or applications to view in its entirety.

Please click HERE to begin reading now!

We hope you enjoy this issue and all future digital issues of GGD. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback at

The GGD Team

Monday, February 7, 2011

NYIGF Best New Product Award Winners

The first-ever Best New Product Awards took place within the Baby & Child division at the New York International Gift Fair, held January 29 through February 3. Baby & Kids editor Melody Udell was there to help judge product submissions in five categories: apparel, gear, toy, decor and a special blogger's best category.

Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists!

Blogger's Best:

Maple Landmark, Inc. for the Rocker-Feller Rocking Horse


Winner: Tegu for the Magnetic Blocks

Finalist: Maple Landmark, Inc. for the Rocker-Feller Rocking Horse

Finalist: Geared For Imagination for Topozoo


Winner: Oopsy Daisy, Fine Art For Kids for the A to Z Animal Prints.

Finalist: Zutano Inc. for the Owls four-piece crib set

Finalist: manny and simon for Duck Wooden Step Stool


Winner: MadPax for the Spiketus Rex

Finalist: Buggyguard for the Stroller Lock

Finalist: Innobaby LLC for the Keepin’ Fresh Kids Stainless


Winner: Loralin Design for the Handmade Sweater Basket

Finalist: Magnificent Baby for the Elephants On Parade Take Me Home Set

Finalist: 3 Sprouts for the 3 Sprouts Eco-Friendly Art Smock

Photo courtesy NYIGF.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dorset’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award Goes to My Carry Potty Inventor

Amanda Jenner, inventor of My Carry Potty, has received the Dorset Business Award for Entrepreneur of the Year.

Jenner launched My Carry Potty in 2009. The product aims to help both parents and kids during the potty training process. My Carry Potty is portable and self-contained, meaning parents don’t have to worry about finding a bathroom for their child when traveling.

The product made its U.S. debut at the ABC Kids Expo in October and is distributed in the country by Regal Lager. My Carry Potty is sold in more than 80 independent retailers and 40 online stores. In addition, the product has sold more than 22,000 units to date.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

CPSC Announces Three Recalls

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced three voluntary recalls in the juvenile industry:

  1. baby rattles from Kid O
  2. Cool-it Soother from Vulli
  3. Toddler Talk Toy Mobile Phone from Discover Toys

The Kid O rattles were recalled because the company’s Prisma and Duo style wooden baby rattles had detachable beads that are considered a choking hazard. The Toddler Talk Toy Mobile Phone from Discovery Toys was also recalled due to a choking hazard as the clear plastic antenna can break off. In addition, the Cool-it Soother by Vulli poses an ingestion hazard if the teething ring is punctured and liquid escapes. For more information, visit

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The January Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

Dear GGD Reader,

Welcome to the January digital issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor Magazine.

GGD January Cover
This Month's Featured Content:
Playing a Selling Song
Lasting Ties
Plush Perfection
Gorgeous Glassware

Tasty Toppings
Hot of the Press

New Feature:
Enchanced Page Zooming Feature Now Available-Zooming is now easier then ever!

Please Note:

GGD Digital requires NO special downloads or applications to view in its entirety.

Please click HERE to begin reading now!

We hope you enjoy this issue and all future digital issues of GGD. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback at

The GGD Team

Pediped Launches The Pediped Foundation

Leading children’s footwear company, Pediped, has announced the launch of The Pediped Foundation, which aims to provide financial support to children’s charities and organizations.

The foundation will work with charities dedicated to the health, education, necessities and personal fulfillment of children on a global scale. One hundred percent of the funds raised will go toward the organization.

Pediped isn’t new to charity work. Since the company’s inception in 2004, the company has donated nearly $700,000 in monetary and product donations to children’s charities, which includes $445,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and more than 2,000 donated to children in Haiti.

Pediped will host the Purchases with Purpose fundraiser starting January 5 through February 6. During the fundraiser, select styles on will be discounted, and sales from the promotion will be donated to the Pediped Foundation.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The January Issue of Baby & Kids Digital is Now Available

Dear Baby & Kids Reader,

Welcome to the January digital edition of Baby & Kids Magazine.

Baby & Kids January CoverThe Baby & Kids digital magazine includes all the same great content as found in the print edition.

This Month's Featured Content:
Designer Decals
Capturing The Memories
Not Your Mother's Diaper Bag
Retailer to Retailer
The Look Book: Organic Apparel
Playing In The Rain

New Feature:
Enchanced Page Zooming Feature Now Available-Zooming is now easier then ever!

Please Note:

Not all ads will have a yellow link icon; however, you may still access their websites by clicking either on their company logo or embedded web address.

Please click HERE to begin reading now!

We hope you enjoy this issue and all future digital issues of Baby & Kids Digital. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback at

The Baby & Kids Team

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Toy Industry Association Launches Social Game

The Toy Industry Association has announced the launch of its virtual and social board game, called Play Happens, for Toy Fair attendees. During this year’s Toy Fair, which takes place February 13 through 16, participants are encouraged to check in via their smart phones at several locations through Manhattan. Each location earns a differing amount of points for the players on a virtual game point. Locations will include various tourist sights, neighborhoods, restaurants, entertainment venues and events.

The winners will receive a weekend for two in New York City over New Year’s Eve. The package includes airfare, lodging at the Marriott Marquis Hotel at Times