Category Archives: baby gear

Homespun

As a child who loved clothes, and even more the act of acquiring clothes via annoying mall excursions, my mother frequently reminded me that her mother actually made ALL of her clothes as a child and (gulp/gasp, and god forbid) a teenager as well. This seemed like the ultimate punishment and the very definition of uncool to my 14 yearold mind. I could just see my mother forcing me to peruse little-house-on-the-prairie-style patterns at the local fabric store, and this imaginary situation caused me to shudder.

Of course, as my mom always assured me, the tables have turned. And while I may not have a 14 year old daughter, or a daughter at all for that matter, I love these vintage children’s patterns I found on Ebay. For little girls, one could really create some adorable little pinafores, modernized by a more current print.

I must comment, however that I think my husband would kill me if I ever tried any of the little boy’s numbers out on little Nikos! My, how boys fashion has evolved…


Makes me want a girl…

Italian children’s clothing company Minimu is another great example of Italian designers rebelling against the traditional stuffy, itchy, scratchy baby style so often found inside Italian prams. Soft colors, gentle, natural fabrics, and shapes that I wish they made in mommy sizes! Just one question… where are the little boy’s digs???

Ikea hacks for the expat baby…

As we know that we will only be in Milan for the first several months or so of our baby’s life, we have been hesitant to invest too much financially in the designing of our nursery. Keeping in line with this mentality of making the most of the inexpensive and easily obtained, here are a couple of great Ikea hack ideas I have found. A perfect way for spiffing up the creative expat nursery on a budget.

Mod revision of the Gulliver crib from ikeahacker

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curbly’s lilybee LACK hack table

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angelique’s decoupaged hack toychest

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Hand painted GRONO hacked lamp by Irina Troitskaya…

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Some current favorites…

Just thought I would do a concise but random post on some of my current favorites–all super cozy for the impending autumn…

Hanging cradle by Swedish designers Knoppa:

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Bakfiets cycling chariot:

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Camouflage diaper bag by Not Rational (usually don’t like camo, but since I’m having a boy I feel like it’s a good and playful balance between boyish and stylish):

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Hand-knit wool soaker/diaper cover and booties by Betriska @ etsy

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Curiously adorable wooden animal and gnome play sets from atoygarden.com…

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Green laundry can get it white????

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So, as I await the coming babe and look at all of his adorable bite-sized garments and precious, pudgy cloth diapers I try to prep myself for the day when these items become functional and in need of a good washing, instead of loitering an empty nursery like a well organized doll wardrobe. Well over a month ago, I made it my mission to hit the health food stores nearby to outfit my baby laundry routine with the most sensitive and eco-friendly products I could find.

I looked in 3 different stores and while I found a couple of brands boasting bio (organic) ingredients, or formulas for sensitive skin, I was disappointed not to find a single one that was unscented (the Italians– even the ones that shop at the health food store, from my experience are big on smelling good). I looked around for the usual brands I know from the US, and other places I have lived abroad ie, Seventh Generation and EcoVer and still nothing. I found dissinfecting dirty-diaper soak, but nothing just for the baby’s wash. Ultimately I resigned to take a huge thing of Bio Presto Sensitivo, which has a milder but still synthetic perfumy smell, little info on what makes it bio, and comes with a promise from an Italian university that it is delicate for even the most sensitive of skins.

I washed everything with the detergent, and then again with just water to remove some of the fragrance, but now as I am getting closer to actually putting these little items against my baby’s delicate skin I am feeling like there has got to be a better way. I don’t know how Italians do it, but I am not interested in putting everything through the wash twice so that baby doesn’t get a rash.

One of my favorite preparing for baby books (it is a beautiful book full of great tips and ideas and available at Amazon.com), Organic Baby by Kimberly Rider, has a brief section on laundry where she suggests using castille soap instead of regular detergent, combined with different amounts baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and essential oil drops to keep things soft, bright, and fresh . Has anyone tried this, or any other DIY baby laundering techniques?? I am going to scout out some castille soap and get started, but I would love to hear how others are keeping their green laundry white. And Italians, too… let me know how you do it!

BAIK: Eco-friendly Italian Baby Clothes

While Italy does have it’s fair share of baby clothing companies and stores, I have found that in general most baby apparel tends to be either cheaply-made, tacky, or prohibatively expensive (but uber oldfashioned and imaginably as comfy as a hairshirt-onesie).  So, I decided to check out which Italian vendors had attended the most recent Bubble Trade Show in NYC which now in it’s 2nd year showcases progressive children’s design.  BAIK is my favorite of the 3 attendees and has a baby line full of simple, clean designs enriched by their colorful, modern take on batik, not to mention their commitment to eco-friendly and socially responsible production.  Playful, modern, simple, and comodo. I love the freshness of their spring/summer line and can’t wait to see what they have in store for fall…

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Fun Flatware

wmv2.pngI really love this baby flatware by German design company WMF. The combination of shape and color are perfectly suited to the developing motor skills of the youngest diners, while the design is fresh and simple. For those slightly older, the stainless set for children is made for little hands to grasp. While WMF is mostly available in Europe, they do have an American supplier and oddly enough, even boast an Amazon.com store where the prices are unbeatable…

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