By: Nicole Leger
When I found out I was pregnant in May of last year, it was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. It now feels like centuries ago that I scanned through the aisles of Toys “R” Us desperately trying to figure out what I would need. As I gained experience with my own baby (and read a ridiculous amount of articles online), I started buying items that I thought were practical but also items that caught my attention because they were unique. Stores such as Carter’s, Gap Toys “R” Us, etc., have a great selection of items but sometimes you just want baby items that you can’t find in the big box stores. Luckily, the Internet has made it incredibly easy to find the cutest and unique baby products and has allowed me to do so while supporting Canadian business owners, many of them mamas themselves. When I was asked to write a post for Diapers & Lipgloss, I jumped at the chance. I had spent countless hours browsing through websites and Facebook pages over the last 7 ½ months to find the cutest baby items and I was excited to share the amazing Canadian creations I had found.
So without further ado, let me introduce you to five of my favourite baby items.
One of the biggest issues I experienced with the clothes I received at my baby showers is that my little one always seems to be between sizes. It would be so nice to have pants that could adjust, I thought to myself. Fortunately, after many web searches, I discovered pants called maxaloones. These pants offer a huge range in size. This is due to the stretchiness of the fabric used and due to the waist and leg cuffs that can be folded or unfolded as the child grows. These pants are often marketed to mamas who use cloth diapers since regular pants are not usually big enough to comfortably fit over the cloth diaper. This doesn’t mean these pants don’t look just as good on babies who wear disposable diapers.
There are many vendors who sell such pants but Sew Hip Designs and Pure Colour Baby caught my attention due to their cute patterns.
Sew Hip Design
Victoria, British Columbia
Cost: Maxaloons from 3M to 12t, $34.80 and 12M to 4t, $39.80
Where to purchase: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SewHipDesignsCA
Kate Coles, owner of Sew Hip Design, has always has a passion for sewing. As with many mom entrepreneurs, she started out by making unique clothes for her two boys. Friends were drawn to her designs, then, friends of friends, and from there the business blossomed. All Sew Hip items are made from 100% organic cotton and feature unique and custom printed designs. They have two sizes for most pants: Baby (3m-12m) and Toddler (12m-4t). The best part? These pants get softer as baby wears and lives in them. I love clothes that is made to last!
The grey Maxaloones with anchors are my favourite but I really do love all the designs.
Pure Colour Baby
Cost: Miniloones, $32 and Maxaloones, $38
Where to purchase: http://purecolourbaby.com/
I first heard about Pure Colour Baby when I was shopping at a local craft market. The fun and modern prints caught my attention and I knew I had to reach out to Lindsay Down, the owner, to feature her shop. Her desire to start this business originated from the lack of modern, stylish and well-made baby items on the mass market. Lindsay had sewn home decor items for many years but her children inspired her to create this beautiful line of clothing. The most popular items on Pure Colour Baby’s website are the maxaloones, harem pants and slouchy beanies for the Fall/Winter season.
I purchased the camping bear maxaloones for my little guy and was amazed at the quality of the pants. They are incredibly soft and although they are a little big right now around the waist (my mini is tiny for his age), I can easily adjust the pants to fit the length of his legs.
#2 Night lights
Veille sur toi
Where to purchase: http://www.veillesurtoi.com
As a child, I was terrified of the dark. I remember always having a night light in my room but they were always so boring. If only Veille sur toi had existed back then. Veille sur toi, which means watch over you in French, produces the cutest glass nightlights you will ever see. In fact, Karine Foisy’s creations are so memorable that she won a contest that pitted her against the best Etsy shop owners from Quebec. Additionally, one of her nightlights can be seen in the movie Southpaw featuring Jake Gyllenhal. How cool is that! I know I am not the only one who has fallen in love with her many adorable designs.
I knew I had to purchase the fox nightlight as soon as I saw it as it matched the décor in my son’s room perfectly. At night, the nightlight provides the perfect amount of light for late night feedings and diaper changes. During the day, it is the perfect piece of artwork for my little one’s room.
#3 Teething Necklaces and Accessories
Teething necklaces have been a lifesaver for me over the past couple of months even though my 7½ month old has yet to start teething. I am still adapting to life as a mom and at times I’m not always on top of things. I have so many things to pack when I leave the house. Inevitably, I always forget something to keep my baby occupied. Luckily, teething necklaces allow me to always have a toy within arms reach. These necklaces have been useful when trying to keep my little monkey busy while nursing and during diaper changes (seriously, he refuses to stay still while I change his diaper). They have also allowed me to wear jewelry again. I had given up wearing necklaces as my little guy kept ripping them off my neck.
This category was difficult to put together. There are three teething jewelry companies that I absolutely adore and I couldn’t leave any of them out. These shops feature non-toxic silicone accessories that are safe for kids, with proper adult supervision of course. All necklaces feature a breakaway safety clasp, are washable with soap and water, or if you’re like me and never seem to get dishes done, they are also dishwasher safe.
Loulou Lollipop Finery, Vancouver, Canada
Cost: Necklaces priced between $24.64 and $36.96; Donut Teether is $34.22
Where to buy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/louloulollipopfinery
Loulou Lollipop Finery was founded by two sisters, Eleanor and Angel. Eleanor, an interior designer, was working crazy hours every day in her previous job. After having her first baby, Eleanor realized this wasn’t in line with the family life she wanted, so she decided to stay home with her baby. The idea of creating a line of teething accessories came to her in 2014 as she was searching for accessories to wear that were safe to chew and tug while still being stylish. It was only in April 2015 that Loulou Lollipop Finery was finally created.
Loulou Lollipop Finery offers beautiful and stylish teethers, bangles and necklaces in set designs and also provides the option to customize products to suit any taste. My favourite items from this shop are the Grace teething necklace, which I bought to match my favourite Boob Design nursing sweater dress, and the Donut Teether, which is a Loulou Lollipop Finery original design.
Glitter and Spice
Vancouver, British Columbia
Cost: Necklaces priced between $27 and $40; Cookie Teether is $34
Where to buy: http://www.glitterandspice.ca
Glitter and Spice was created by Lorene Mah’s desire to find a stylish, chic and safe necklace for her child. While she did not experience any teething issues with her first child, it was a different story with the second. Her initial searches for fashionable teething accessories had been disappointing and she took it upon herself to create a line of fashion forward teething products. Since opening her shop in March 2015, she has enjoyed enormous success. Her products have caught the attention of several trendy fashion magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue U.K. and Glamour U.K. Not to mention she was invited to the Emmy’s Gifting Suite to show off her gorgeous designs. What an accomplishment!
My favourite products include the Laurel and Olivia necklaces, as well as the Cookie Teether. I purchased the Laurel necklace to wear at a wedding. The necklace did not disappoint. It suited my formal dress perfectly and also helped my little one keep quiet during the entire ceremony! He was the last baby standing and I couldn’t have done it without Glitter and Spice’s gorgeous necklace.
Cost: necklaces are priced between $20 to $28
Where to buy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/minichicaccessoires
Mini Chic, owned by Joy Delgado, was the first company I discovered when I was looking for a teething necklace. Similarly to Glitter and Spice and Loulou Lollipop Finery, Joy was not satisfied with the teething products available to her. She wanted to create products that would meet her needs, as well as those of her baby’s. Passionate about DYI projects and everything that involves maternity, Joy created a colourful line of teething accessories that would be sure to please any mom’s taste. It was love at first sight with one of her designs and to this day, the necklace I purchased from Mini Chic remains my son’s favourite teething item. The variety of colours and bead shapes helped distract my son over the course of a two-week trip to Prince Edward Island this summer and kept his little hands busy during the 13-hour drive.
#4 Knitted hats
Cost: hats are typically priced between $32 and $36
Where to purchase: https://www.etsy.com/shop/princessezhibou
There are few products that have gotten me as excited as the beautiful creations in the Princesse Zhibou shop, owned by Sophy Gill. I wish I could be a kid again so I could beg my parents to buy me a hat in each of the animal designs. Sophy’s passion for knitting and crochet began shortly before finding out she was pregnant. Her first projects were blankets and hats for her little one on the way and eventually her business grew beyond that. Her objective is to create cute items that both parents and kids can appreciate and she has definitely succeeded in doing so. The hats she sells come in a variety of sizes (0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-24 months, 2-4 years, 5-10 years) but would be perfect to gift to an expectant mama for baby pictures. Although the animal hats caught my attention the most, she also makes hats and clothing for adults, scarves, stuffed animals, personalized blankets, and other items upon request.
Sophy was kind enough to send me a hat for my little guy to test out. Picking out my favourite animal hat was such a difficult task. I ended up choosing the Koala due to the neutral colours but I honestly loved them all. I was even more impressed not only by the quality of the hat but also that the picture on the etsy shop was an accurate representation of the product I received.
#5 Babywearing hoodie
Where to purchase: Find a Belly Bédaine retailer near you (look for one with an English name if you want to order in English) or shop directly from their online boutique (French only).
When I was shopping for registry items, I never thought that a baby carrier would be one of my most treasured items. My carrier has helped me keep my sanity while caring for a colicky baby. My dilemma was that my little guy was during the winter months and the weather made it difficult to go outside. What was I to do? Belly Bedaine’s babywearing sweater was the solution. This sweater is perfect for the chilly Canadian Fall or Spring weather and is available in black or grey and in sizes XS to XXL (sizes 3XL and 4XL available upon request),
I love this sweater not only because it is designed and made in Quebec but because it is so versatile. It can be used as a standalone sweater without the baby by cinching the opening, as a nursing sweater and as a babywearing sweater with the use of a baby carrier. It is perfect for wearing for both a front and back carry and looks great worn either way. There’s even a version available with a pocket at the front and the back for mamas with twins or two young children. The material is perfect for keeping both you and your little one cozy and the side zipper allows you easily put the sweater on or to take it off.
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